Practice/Industry Group Overview
Nexsen Pruet’s roots in agricultural operations run deep. Our agribusiness team harvests industry-wide experience in financing, immigration, litigation, real estate, environmental and tax and estate issues for lenders, multinationals and agricultural producers.
Group Chairman David Gossett served in-house at one of the nation’s largest Farm Credit System banks for seven years and brings unique insight to our practice. His experience, coupled with the broad-based skills of the firm’s legal team, ensures an insider’s understanding of what lenders and borrowers want – and need – before they even ask.
Nexsen Pruet attorneys have extensive experience representing a wide variety of banking and financial institutions, including the Farm Credit System, the largest agricultural lending organization in the United States. Our capabilities include:
- Complex real estate, asset-based, commercial, construction, and development loan transactions
- Workouts and debt restructuring
- Legal support from the entire firm in areas that include environmental law, legislative and regulatory issues, international trade and many other practice groups
We also maintain close working relationships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Administration in Washington, as well as service providers who specialize in New Market Tax Credits and local farm bureau organizations.
Our experience includes being:
- Co-lead counsel (collateral agent) for syndicated $600 million of credit facilities to a sugar processing company
- Lead counsel for lending consortium on $68 million of credit facilities for construction of ethanol production plant
- Senior counsel to a consortium of lenders purchasing $305 million of a $1.5 billion senior secured term debt for multi-state timberlands
- Lead counsel for the lending consortium on a $200 million, asset-based revolving line of credit to a cattle feedlot operation
- Lender representative to several agency stakeholder groups responsible for drafting statewide animal-feeding operation regulations and subsequent revisions
- Local counsel to large international prepared-food company
- Lead M&A counsel in multiple agribusiness mergers and acquisition transactions valued at more than $230,000,000 in the aggregate
Architects of the Rural America Bond Program
Our Agriculture Lending team is the legal architect for the Rural America Bond Program. In 2005, Nexsen Pruet lawyers originated the concept, and then crafted the pilot program that was adopted by the U.S. Farm Credit Administration.
The program provides the opportunity to invest in the growth of non-urban communities by financing business projects, infrastructure, and health care services that focus on rural areas, as well as projects supporting agriculture and agribusiness. These projects are typically ineligible for financing through traditional loans.
In March of 2012, South Carolina Business magazine examined how the bond program supports the South Carolina economy in an article entitled "Farm Credit System Provides Vital Support for Agribusiness." Additionally, the Spring 2008 edition of Carolina Farm Credit's Leader magazine features an article about the program.
We have assisted with:
- $18 million in bonds for a Critical Access Hospital in Lutcher, Louisiana
- $4 million in bonds for a charter school in Salem, Utah
- $1.1 million in bonds for a furniture manufacturer in Hickory, NC
- $5.5 million in bonds for funding of three rural schools for at-risk teenagers in Texas, New Mexico, and Montana
- $16 million in bonds for funding a new 54,000-square-foot hospital in St. James, Minn.
- $16.65 million in bonds for funding a 25-bed acute care critical access hospital in Booneville, Ark.
At a time when the world wants more and more agriculture commodities, all eyes are focused on the United States. So the companies and organizations that comprise and support the agricultural industry need experienced, responsive attorneys on their finance teams. Nexsen Pruet is that proven partner.
The agribusiness industry
This industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global economy. It accounts for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. gross national product and employs close to a quarter of the U.S. labor force. The industry faces profound opportunities and challenges; growing interest in alternative energy sources such as biofuels; new free trade agreements and expansion of global trade; increased investment in biotechnology; price fluctuations on agricultural commodities and immigration and labor issues. From small input supply farms to major multinationals, Nexsen Pruet has the seasoned expertise to help agricultural businesses thrive.