Agribusiness & Food


Ivan Saval

Managing Director, Agribusiness & Food Investment Banking

Ivan Saval is the Managing Director overseeing the capital markets and financial advisory opportunities for the Agribusiness & Food segments. Ivan is a seasoned investment banker, having worked with a wide range of agribusiness and food related enterprises for their capital and advisory needs. He has over 15 years of experience, working for firms such as JP Morgan, UBS, CIBC, BNP Paribas and INTL FCStone

Agribusiness & Food Sector Expertise

Agribusiness & Food are key sectors for National, with a team of banking professionals highly regarded for their deep industry expertise and relationships. Our investment banking activity in this sector comprises both advisory and capital markets, working with a wide range of companies along the value chain, including, but not limited to, the privately run family livestock business, the publicly traded agri-biotech enterprise, the startup ag-tech company, the multi-national grain merchandising platform, and the consumer driven branded food products.

We work with boards of directors and business owners to assist them in exercising their fiduciary responsibilities, providing unbiased guidance and excellence in transaction execution. Our knowledge in the broad array of industries that comprise food and agribusiness provides us a unique capability to position your business to the investor community.

Since launching our Agribusiness & Food sector specific effort in 2016, National has led, or participated in, several capital raise transactions, including unregistered and registered offerings of equity and debt, with placement to both retail and fundamental institutional investors.  Additionally, National has been the exclusive financial adviser for restructuring, business divestitures and buy side assignments.

Completed Transactions


Ben Klieve, CFA

Senior Equity Research Analyst, Agribusiness & Food

Ben Klieve is a Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Agribusiness. His coverage focuses on companies throughout the food chain that add value to the grower and consumer alike, with sub-sectors including agricultural biotech, biologicals, biofuels, consumer goods, distribution and production. Prior to joining National, Mr. Klieve worked as a generalist for Noble Capital Markets, covering the aerospace and defense, agribusiness and business services sectors. Mr. Klieve holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Finance (MSF) from University of Denver. Mr. Klieve is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Agribusiness & Food Sector Coverage

Agribusiness research coverage at National focuses on small and micro cap companies with exposure both to the grower and the consumer. Our grower focused coverage considers investments with exposure to agricultural biotech, biological inputs, bio-fuels and production. Our consumer focused coverage considers investments with exposure to consumer goods, packaging and distribution. We seek to enable investors to generate alpha by identifying overlooked and misunderstood investment opportunities with strategies that we believe can capture sustainable value.

Arcadia Biosciences (RKDA: Buy, $6.05 PT)

April 17, 2019–  We believe that Arcadia Biosciences (RKDA) represents a well-positioned agricultural biotech company with an R&D pipeline that is meaningfully undervalued at its current market capitalization. With lead products of a drought resistant soybean and high fiber resistant starch wheat coming to market over the next 12 months, we believe there a high degree of visibility of meaningful revenue growth over the next five years.

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AquaBounty Technologies (AQB: Buy, $5 PT)

April 8, 2019–  We believe AQB has sufficient capital to fund operations until the first harvests expected in the third quarter of 2020. In 2019 and the first half of 2020, we anticipate cash needs in the $16 to $18 million range. Between the $3.0 million cash position ending 2018 and the $14.3 million raised during the two secondary offerings, we think AQB is well positioned in our view to fund operations until initial harvests.

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Calyxt, Inc. (CLXT: Buy, $35 PT)

March 13, 2019– We believe Calyxt represents a leader in the field of agricultural biotechnology, and one that is uniquely positioned to capture value via advancements in gene editing technology. We view its lead offering Calyno as being a leading product within a wide addressable market, and believe this product alone can take Calyxt to EBITDA breakeven by 2022 and $1 billion in revenue by 2025.

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Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII: Buy, $2.50 PT)

April 25, 2019– Strong First Half of 2019 Could Be the Catalyst Shareholders Need. With shares hitting a resistance level of roughly $1.60 several times over the past six months, we believe a strong performance over the next two quarters could be the catalyst shares need to break through this level.

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S&W Seed Company (SANW: Buy, $6 PT)

February 14, 2019– Revenue of $18.6 million modestly beat our estimates of $18.0 million. Excluding the impact of ASC 606 and inorganic contributions, the top line grew 14% on a year-over-year basis, which represents the highest level of organic growth in three years.

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Yield10 Bioscience (YTEN: Buy, $5 PT)

March 26, 2019– A net loss of $0.19 per share beat our estimates of $0.24 per share, with an operating loss of $1.9 million representing the lowest reported in YTEN’s brief history. Cash burn remains in the $2.0 to $2.5 million range per quarter, a rate we expect to continue throughout 2019.

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