CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Equity Group Investments (EGI), the private investment firm of Sam Zell, announced today that it has made an investment in ILTA Grain (“ILTA”), a leading originator, processor and exporter of pulse crops from Canada. In conjunction with EGI’s investment, Joe McIntosh, a Managing Director at the firm, will assume a seat on ILTA’s board of directors. Certain investment funds affiliated with NGP Energy Capital Management, LLC are the majority shareholders in ILTA.
Based in Surrey, B.C., ILTA processes and distributes pulses (e.g. peas, lentils, chickpeas, and beans), and exports them to customers in over 40 countries. Demand for pulses, which are GMO-free, gluten-free, and a cost-efficient source of protein and fiber, is growing steadily due to population growth in emerging markets and consumer preferences for healthier lifestyles in developed countries. ILTA owns and operates seven state-of-the-art, strategically located processing plants in Western Canada.
“We are attracted to the long-term growth trend of this industry,” commented Zell, founder and chairman of EGI. “ILTA is a high-quality, low-cost leader with advanced facilities and a seasoned leadership team. We look forward to partnering with management and the existing investors to continue to drive growth and value.”
As the largest exporter of pulses in the world, Canada has experienced pulse production growth of 2.5 times in the last 10 years, and now represents 60% of global pulse exports.
“We welcome EGI as an investment partner,” said Dan Burneski, ILTA’s Chief Executive Officer and President. “The firm’s financial support and long history of adding value to its investments will enhance our ability to expand our footprint in a global marketplace with strong demand for our products.”
About Equity Group Investments
Equity Group Investments, the private firm founded by Sam Zell nearly 50 years ago, specializes in opportunistic investments across the debt and equity markets. EGI has extensive experience in energy, industrial, manufacturing, logistics and transportation, business services, communications, health care and real estate.