LLR Partners has formed AdeptAg to acquire and combine agricultural machinery manufacturers AgriNomix and Zwart Systems.
AgriNomix is a manufacturer of equipment used in the horticulture industry for soil mixing and dispensing, seeding, potting and transplanting, grading, trimming and watering, and material handling. The company’s products are used by nearly 90% of the top 100 growers in North America. AgriNomix was founded in 1994 and is headquartered 30 miles southwest of Cleveland in Oberlin, Ohio.
Zwart Systems is a manufacturer, distributor, and installer of horticultural irrigation equipment for all sizes of greenhouses across North America. The company specializes in irrigation, nutrient management, and water and storage control systems. Zwart was founded in 1969 and is headquartered 90 miles south of Toronto in Beamsville, Ontario.
LLR formed AdeptAg in January 2022 in partnership with industry executive Rick Parod, the former CEO of Lindsay Corporation (NYSE: LNN), a Nebraska-headquartered maker of center pivot irrigation systems, farm and construction machinery, and road and railroad infrastructure equipment. From 2000 to 2017, Mr. Parod led Lindsay Corporation and grew the company’s revenue, organically and through acquisitions, from $100 million to more than $500 million.
“At AdeptAg, our mission is to deliver exceptional ROI to growers by listening to their needs, understanding each unique application, and delivering the best outcomes alongside our global network of technology partners,” said Mr. Parod. “I am thrilled to have the exceptional teams at AgriNomix and Zwart Systems as the foundation of our platform and to work with LLR Partners as we expand the platform and deliver an even greater breadth of market-driven offerings and services to growers of all types and sizes.”
The formation of AdeptAg is part of a strategy to participate in the growing controlled environment agriculture (CEA) sector. CEA is an intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture where plants grow within a controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices.
“We are excited to bring these two leaders together as part of the AdeptAg family and under Rick’s leadership to empower growers to optimize their business and operations,” said Dave Stienes, a partner at LLR.
“Controlled environment agriculture automation is growing at a phenomenal pace in North America due to a confluence of factors, including labor shortages, climate change, and the global supply chain. Until now, the North American market was missing a one-stop-shop for engineering, design, integration, and support services,” said Jesse Gray, a principal at LLR.
Philadelphia-based LLR makes minority or majority investments from $25 million to $200 million in companies active in the education, financial, healthcare, security, and software sectors. In October 2020, LLR held a final closing of its latest fund, LLR Equity Partners VI LP, with $1.8 billion in capital.
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