EFFINGHAM, IL, August 14, 2018 – Open Prairie is pleased to announce its first investment through the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, a growth-stage private equity fund dedicated to providing capital to agribusiness companies throughout rural America.
With the $5.2 million credit facility from Open Prairie, Tillerman Seeds, based in Greenville, Michigan, continues its strategy of acquiring regional seed companies to develop a diversified portfolio primarily focused on non-GMO product lines. Funding from Open Prairie was used to complete the acquisition of Scandinavia, Wisconsin-based Legacy Seeds, a leading producer of non-GMO alfalfa seeds as well as corn, soybeans, wheat, cover crops and turf blends. Legacy Seeds also has operations in Nampa, Idaho. Combined with its recent purchase of DF Seeds, Tillerman has created a rural Midwest-based seed company with operations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Idaho that will generate $40 million in annual revenues and supply products to more than 800 farms. The company remains active in sourcing additional acquisition opportunities to expand its footprint in the seed industry.
Open Prairie Founder and Managing Partner, Jim Schultz, stated, “Open Prairie is looking forward to working closely with Tillerman Seeds as they leverage operational expertise within Legacy Seeds and DF Seeds to create new market channels, research and development collaboration opportunities and implement strategic growth initiatives with its customers, employees and suppliers.” Mr. Schultz will join the Tillerman Seeds Board of Directors.
Remos Lenio, Partner in Tillerman & Co., commented, “The Open Prairie team brings significant value to Tillerman Seeds as we accelerate our agribusiness platform. They have a strong understanding of the industry and the growing momentum for experienced investors to contribute to global demands and dynamics.”
About Open Prairie
Open Prairie, based in the heartland of America with headquarters in Effingham, Illinois, is a multi-faceted private equity fund management firm with deep roots in rural America. Founded in 1997, Open Prairie has consistently focused on facilitating capital accessibility in underserved markets. The Open Prairie team has managed funds ranging from technology-based venture capital to farmland portfolios. Through its expertise across all functional business disciplines and an extensive network of professionals, Open Prairie works in partnership with its portfolio companies to accelerate growth while providing top-tier returns to its investors. For more information about Open Prairie, please visit www.openprairie.com.
About the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund
The Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund is a targeted $100 million private equity fund licensed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC). With a collaborative partnership comprised of investors from Farm Credit institutions, commercial and community banks, strategics, family offices and high net worth individuals committed to advancing rural America, the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund is focused on providing debt and equity capital of $2 - $10 million to growth companies in food and agriculture. For more information on the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, please visit www.openprairie.com.
About Tillerman Seeds
Tillerman Seeds, LLC was created to acquire small, regional independent seed companies, especially those with strong non-GMO product lines. Tillerman Seeds is a holding company and plans to operate acquired companies as standalone entities with shared back-office services and collaboration on customer service, research and development, and marketing sales. For more information about Tillerman Seeds’ products and services, visit www.legacyseeds.com and www.dfseeds.com.
Jason Wrone – +1.217.347.5430