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Costa Group To Acquire Adelaide Mushrooms

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NEW YORK, CHICAGO and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners"), a global private equity investment firm, and the Costa Group ("Costa" or the "Company"), Australia's leading grower and marketer of fresh produce, announce that Costa has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Adelaide Mushrooms. Completion is subject to customary conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Costa will acquire all of Adelaide Mushrooms' assets, including its state-of-the-art Monarto production complex in South Australia, farms at Spreyton and Huon Valley in Tasmania, and Mushroom Centre at the Adelaide Markets. Adelaide Mushrooms' chairman, Douglas Schirripa, will work with Costa's mushroom team in an advisory capacity. 

Adelaide Mushrooms services supermarkets and greengrocers, as well as institutions and food service operations across Australia. Its new 360-acre Monarto production complex, which was completed in 2010, includes 30 growing rooms, 26,000 square meters of growing space and 20,000 square meters of composting space.  The company has been named the number one South Australian mushroom producer for almost 10 straight years.

Harry Debney, Chief Executive of Costa, said, "Adelaide Mushrooms' operations will complement the key Costa facilities in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, augmenting Costa's ability to supply locally sourced mushrooms in South Australia and Tasmania. Consumer tastes have grown increasingly sophisticated, with higher expectations for freshness and consistent supply.  The integration of Adelaide Mushrooms technology and skill base will further enhance Costa's consumer offering and our ability to supply quality mushrooms to provide a rewarding consumer experience." 

Kevin Schwartz, a founding Partner at Paine & Partners, said, "The acquisition of Adelaide Mushrooms is a great next step in Costa's growth strategy.  Mushrooms represent an attractive market and sizeable opportunity for Costa, given their year-round indoor production and favorable demand trends.  We look forward to supporting Costa's continued growth and success as it executes its long-term business plans."     

About The Costa Group

The Costa Group is Australia's largest private producer, marketer and exporter of high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables.  Based in Victoria, with production, trading and logistical operations throughout Australia and internationally, Costa is a full-service grower, packer, shipper, marketer, importer and exporter.  Investing significantly in farming, varietal research, purpose built 'value-adding' facilities, state of the art distribution operations, tier-one management systems and advanced warehouse technology, Costa has assisted in bringing world's best practice and horticultural innovation to Australia.

About Paine & Partners, LLC

Paine & Partners provides equity capital for management buyouts, going private transactions, and company expansion and growth programs. Paine & Partners engages exclusively in friendly transactions developed in cooperation with a company's management, board of directors and shareholders. The firm currently makes investments through its $1.2 billion fund, Paine & Partners Capital Fund III, L. P. and related entities.

Paine & Partners focuses on the food and agribusiness industry globally, and its principals, through a predecessor fund, have made successful strategic investments in Seminis, then the world's leading global developer, producer and marketer of vegetable and fruit seeds; and Advanta Netherlands Holdings BV, at the time, the largest independent agronomic seed company in the world. Paine & Partners also invested in Icicle Seafoods, a leading producer, harvester and processer of salmon, pollock, halibut, cod, crab and other seafood products with operations in North and South America and sales globally. Paine & Partners' most recent investments include Eurodrip, a global manufacturer and supplier of drip irrigation solutions; Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC, a U.S.-based plant health and nutrition investment platform; and Scanbio Marine Group, a leading Norwegian producer of fish protein concentrate, fish meal, and fish oil. The complex investment opportunities in today's rapidly evolving agribusiness environment play to the strengths of Paine & Partners' differentiated approach. For further information, see www.painepartners.com.

SOURCE Paine & Partners, LLC



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