Challenge

American Farmland (AFCO) was in search of a potential merger partner. Farmland Partners Inc. (FPI) presented the possibility of a groundbreaking deal, and American Farmland turned to Goodwin’s team to make it happen.

Our approach

Goodwin has represented AFCO since its inception in 2009, including in connection with its internalization of management, initial public offering and stock market listing (NYSEMKT: AFCO). With a diversified portfolio of high-quality farmland – consisting of mature permanent, specialty/vegetable row and commodity row crop farms – AFCO held property in select major agricultural regions throughout the United States. FPI owns and seeks to acquire high-quality North American farmland and makes loans to farmers secured by farm real estate. To complete a successful merger, Goodwin attorneys helped AFCO broker agreements with FPI on everything from on everything from board representation to deal terms.

Outcome

In September 2016, Farmland Partners (NYSE:FPI) announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire American Farmland in a stock-for-stock transaction. When it closed in February 2017, the combined company became the largest public farmland REIT in the United States, allowing stockholders to remain invested in a liquid farmland REIT with greater scale and fulfilling American Farmland’s original vision of a freely tradable investment vehicle open to everyone.