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Thursday, December 14, 2023

Castle Harlan – Advised by Triago – Invests in Baja Aqua-Farms, a World Leader in Bluefin Tuna Ranching

Castle Harlan and its partners, Continental Grain Company, Organización Cultiba SAB de CV, and Equity Group Investments (EGI), seek to accelerate Baja’s future growth


NEW YORK, December 13, 2023 (Newswire.com)

Castle Harlan, a New York based private equity firm, and its partners announce the majority acquisition of Baja Aqua-Farms (the “Company”), a leading vertically integrated Bluefin tuna rancher based in Baja California, Mexico. The transaction was funded with both debt and equity.

Castle Harlan made a direct investment in the Company outside of its traditional blind pool funds and co-investment programs. These direct investment opportunities provide investors with greater influence and agency than traditional funds or more passively structured co-investments.

Founded in 2000, Baja Aqua-Farms is an established leader in Bluefin tuna ranching whose mission is to produce and distribute the highest quality Pacific Bluefin tuna in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. The Company’s fresh sashimi grade tuna is sought out by top chefs around the globe for its consistent quality and year-round availability.

“Baja Aqua-Farms is state-of-the-art, with major competitive advantages and potential for growth,” says Patrick Zyla, Managing Director at Castle Harlan. “Investors in Baja will use their global networks and connections as catalysts for Baja’s growth. We intend to help Baja grow organically, but it will also be a platform for acquisitions and the transfer of best practice.” 

The investment partnership provides strategic support and a source of additional capital for the Company to meet the growing global demand for seafood. As part of the transaction, Ignacio Sanz from Conti, Juan Ignacio Gallardo Thurlow from Cultiba, Rahul Sen from EGI, and Patrick Zyla from Castle Harlan will join Baja Aqua-Farms’ Board of Directors. London-based Westgrove Partners and Indianapolis-based Oxford Financial Group Ltd.TM are also investors in the Company.

“All the investors in Baja are rolling up their sleeves to help the company grow,” says Triago Partner Sim Ketchum. “This is typical in single asset direct private equity transactions.” “Direct investments do an amazing job of finely aligning everyone’s interests,” says Triago Global CEO Matt Swain. Triago raised the equity capital for Baja Aqua-Farms.

Along with Baja, Castle Harlan has completed three direct investments in recent years, including Sunless, the global leader in ultraviolet-free spray tanning equipment and solutions, and Titan Production Equipment, a leading engineer, designer, and manufacturer of specialty engineered-to-order equipment used for the traditional and alternative energy and environmental technology sectors.

About Castle Harlan – Founded in 1987, Castle Harlan is a New York based private equity firm that makes control equity investments in middle market companies, focusing on niche consumer and specialty industrial businesses. The firm traces its roots to the start of the institutionalized private equity business in the late 1960s. Castle Harlan’s investment strategy is concentrated on finding established businesses with steady growth, where they can partner with existing management to provide long-term returns to investors. The firm has completed over 55 acquisitions since its inception worth an aggregate enterprise value in excess of $11 billion. For more information, visit www.castleharlan.com ↗.

About Triago – With offices in New York, London, Paris, Dubai and San Diego, Triago provides fundraising services for both private equity funds and direct deals. The firm also provides secondary transaction advisory, and strategic solutions for general partners and limited partners seeking to optimize success in the global private equity market. Founded in 1992 as one of the first PE fund placement agents, Triago has completed over 200 fundraisings and over 30 direct financings on six continents. Triago has advised on the transfer of more than 3,500 PE fund stakes on the secondary market on behalf of some 200 clients across the world. The group has also undertaken more than 50 strategic advisory mandates for general partners and limited partners looking to launch, boost or restructure PE operations. The group’s fastest growing and largest business today is private equity directs. http://www.triago.com ↗

Source: Triago

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Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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