Ukrainian Agrarian Investments (UAI) was founded in 2005 by Renaissance Partners and a number of co-investors, in order to build one of the leading large-scale farming businesses in the CIS. In December 2005, UAI acquired its first two farms (with a total leased area of approximately 8,000 ha).
Over 2006, the Group continued to lease land for agricultural purposes, and by the year-end, its total leased land portfolio had expanded to approximately 92,000 ha. In 2006, UAI also completed its first harvest, having planted approximately 29,000 ha. By 31 December 2007, its leased land portfolio had expanded to approximately 264,000 ha.
Commencing in late 2008, and accelerated with the arrival of Alexander Kostenko in 2009, UAI underwent a significant cost restructuring, prompted by the financial crisis – adjusting its business model from one focused on land accumulation to one centred on profitable and large-scale agricultural operations – and with a key focus on farming all its existing land bank.
In 2010, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provided a $20mn working capital facility to UAI, which helped the Group to plant and harvest a larger part of its land bank, and has underpinned the expansion of its operating area in 2011. The credit line was later expanded to $40 mn.
Today, UAI has more than 900 full-time employees and a total headcount of more than 2,000 during seasonal peaks (seeding and harvesting).
In August, 2012 UAI was assigned B/stable corporate credit by S&P.