Vulpes Seeks US$150 Million For Agriculture

May 4 2012 | 11:42am ET

Artradis Capital Management founder Stephen Diggle’s expansion of his new hedge fund firm continues apace.

Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management plans to raise up to US$150 million for an agriculture fund. The new vehicle, which Diggle has been running for three years, already manages US$35 million and owns land in New Zealand, the United States and Uruguay.

“I got the idea in 2008 when I thought the world was falling apart,” Diggle told Bloomberg News. “Yield-producing safe assets are intrinsically more interesting.”

The portfolio has returned a yield of about 5% since its inception, and its assets have increased in value by 35%, Diggle said. Vulpus’ Uruguayan cattle and sheep farm has appreciated by about 50%, as has its two corn farms in Illinois. Its kiwi and avocado farm in New Zealand has returned 14% since Vulpes bought it last year.

Diggle said he plans to deploy his newly-raised capital broadly, eyeing investments in Africa and Eastern Europe. Word of the planned agriculture fundraise follows news earlier this week that Tudor Investment Corp. would seed Vulpes’ new quantitative hedge funds.

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