Anatoly Shakhnovsky: The Highest Bid Will Win CascadeAgro
The closer the farmland market opening in Ukraine is, the more lively the trade in agricultural assets becomes. In August 2020, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) authorized Agartha Fund LP (U.A.E.) for the purchase of 13 agricultural enterprises from Vitaliy Khomutynnik, the Member of the 8th Parliament of Ukraine, co-owner of Kernel Holding S.A. In February this year, the AMCU reverted to the case again. The AMCU authorized the purchase of agricultural enterprises by Kernel Holding S.A.
Anatoly Shakhnovsky, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Cascade Investment Fund, told Latifundist.com what CascadeAgro is selling.
Latifundist.com: Previously, Agartha Fund was a potential bidder for 13 agricultural companies. Have the negotiations with this company been terminated? Is Kernel's offer more competitive?
Anatoly Shakhnovsky: We continue negotiations with several potential buyers, including Agartha Fund, Kernel and others, for the acquisition of CascadeAgro's 13 companies. Ultimately, the deal will depend on whose offer will be more appealing.
Latifundist.com: Does this mean a consolidation of Kernel and Cascade Investment Fund assets? Or is it about the fund's intention to dispose of land and agro-infrastructure assets?
Anatoly Shakhnovsky: This is by no means about the consolidation of assets. As part of Cascade Investment Fund's development strategy, other priority areas for investment were outlined, so a decision has been made to sell 13 companies.
Latifundist.com: How much farmland do the businesses being sold cultivate? By analytical companies' estimates, the total land bank is 39.9 thou. ha. Is that so?
Anatoly Shakhnovsky: CaskadeAgro manages 43,000 ha of farmland, two grain elevators with a total storage capacity of 105,000 t and two farms. It is fully equipped with machinery and has sufficient working capital.
Latifundist.com: Did CascadeAgro acquire assets from Kernel back then?
Anatoly Shakhnovsky: The company was developing for more than 15 years. During this period of time, assets were acquired from different owners at that time, including Kernel.
Latifundist.com: If the enterprises are sold to Kernel, will it be for money or for shares? In case for money, what may the transaction amount be?
Anatoly Shakhnovsky: Only the sale for money is being discussed, we are still at the stage of considering offers, and it is too early to say whether Kernel will be the buyer.
Latifundist.com: Will Vitaliy Khomutynnik increase his stake in the share capital of Kernel Holding S.A.?
Anatoly Shakhnovsky: We will consider market conditions and share prices.
Konstantin Tkachenko, Latifundist.com