Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the CEL Group of Companies (“CEL”), a leading provider of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) solutions and technologies, in its partnership with Madison Industries, one of the largest privately held companies in the world partnering with entrepreneurs that are committed to making the world safer, healthier and more productive.
CEL is comprised of the Winnipeg, MB-based Conviron, the world-leading provider of plant growth chambers and rooms, as well as Surrey, BC-based Argus Controls, one of the leading suppliers of plant-centric environmental controls and automation systems used in greenhouse and indoor growing facilities. Together, Conviron and Argus provide technologies to the world’s leading agbiotech companies, universities and government research institutions, and controlled environment growers in over 90 countries around the the world for applications in plant research, commercial horticulture, and plant-derived pharmaceutical productions.
Conviron traces its origin back to 1964, where it was founded by Richard Kroft in Winnipeg. Steve Kroft, Richard’s son, took the helm as President & CEO in 1998 and guided the company through many prosperous years of growth which included the acquisition of Argus Controls. The company is now led by John Proven, a long-time member of the CEL team who stepped in as President during 2019 while Steve moved into a role as Executive Chairman.
“Early on, my dad and I agreed that when CEL reached a stage where it exceeded our family’s capacity to seize all the opportunities in front of us, we would put the business in the hands of someone who could,” said Steve Kroft. “With so many tailwinds driving our business – climate change, breakthroughs in science, and an overwhelming stress on the world’s food production capacity – the opportunities for CEL, and the demands on our business have never been greater. Further, it’s important that our incredible employees are given every opportunity to grow, and that our clients are getting the very best from CEL. Now is the time to accelerate growth, and in Madison, we have found the perfect home for CEL. As our advisor, Cascadia played a pivotal role in helping us get our story to the market, and added significant value throughout the process for all stakeholders.”
“It has been an honor to represent CEL and the Kroft family on this transaction,” added Scott Porter, Cascadia Capital Managing Director. “CEL’s technologies play an integral role in the global food supply chain, spanning from advanced plant research to commercial horticulture and everything in between. I am grateful for the opportunity to help facilitate this partnership that will lead to further benefits for the global agriculture industry.”
This represents another successful transaction for Cascadia in the AgTech sector. Prior clients included Plant Response, AgBiome, Conservis, Cytozyme, and others.
For more information about this transaction, please contact the Cascadia Capital deal team:
Or other senior members of the Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team at Cascadia Capital:
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