- US indoor farming startup Local Bounti will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange after agreeing to merge with Leo Holdings III Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
- The merger, which values the Hamilton, Montana-based indoor farmer at $1.1 billion, is expected to provide $400 million in gross proceeds – including a $125 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) deal anchored by BNP Paribas, Cargill, Fidelity, and Sarath Ratanavandi – CEO of Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development.
- Cargill has separately agreed to provide $200 million in debt financing to Local Bounti.
Why it matters:
Local Bounti operates a single facility growing leafy greens, which are sold in about 400 stores run by retailers and cooperatives including Associated Food Stores, Rosauers, Super 1 Foods, URM, and Yoke’s.
It plans to add another seven farms offering over 30 different products by the end of 2025, with an expansion strategy focused on the “largely untapped western US.”
Recent research has indicated that North America is set to add over 500 acres to its indoor farming capacity over the next five years – and Cargill’s involvement in this SPAC deal suggests that the agribusiness giant is keen to get a piece of the pie.
Local Bounti claims it offers “superior unit economics with high yield and low cost” enabled by a “unique hybrid facility configuration that addresses the challenges of conventional greenhouse and vertical farming.”
It recently appointed biotech industry veteran Kathleen Valiasek as its chief financial officer, while retired Beyond Meat chief financial officer Mark Nelson joined the startup’s board of directors.
From down under to outer space: 3 Australian startups leading the next era of novel farming systems