Cresud was incorporated in 1936 as a subsidiary of Credit Foncier, a Belgian company engaged in the business of providing rural and urban loans in Argentina. Cresud was incorporated to administer real estate holdings foreclosed by Credit Foncier. Credit Foncier was liquidated in 1959, and as a part of such liquidation, Cresud’s shares were distributed to Credit Foncier’s shareholders and in 1960 were listed on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. During the 1960s and 1970s, Cresud’s business shifted to exclusively agricultural activities.
During 1993 and 1994, Consultores Asset Management acquired on behalf of certain investors approximately 22% of Cresud’s outstanding shares on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. In late 1994, an investor group led by Consultores Asset Management (and including Dolphin Fund plc.) purchased additional shares increasing their aggregate shareholding to approximately 51.4% of Cresud’s outstanding shares. In 1995, the Company increased its capital through a rights offering and global public offering of ADRs representing its common shares and listed such ADRs on the NASDAQ. In March, 2008 Cresud completed its capital increase of 180 million common shares. All of the shares offered were subscribed domestically and internationally.
On September 25, 2007, Cresud converted US$12.0 million of IRSA’s convertible notes into 22.0 million of IRSA’s common shares. From July 30, 2007 to November 14, 2007 Cresud exercised 33.0 million of warrants to acquire an additional 60.5 million common shares of IRSA for a total cost of approximately US$40.0 million. The term for the exercise of IRSA’s outstanding warrants and the conversion of IRSA’s outstanding convertible notes issued on November 21, 2002 expired on November 14, 2007. Subsequently, from December 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009, Cresud acquired 122,625,854 additional shares of IRSA, increasing its interest to 55.64% as of June 30, 2009. Cresud started consolidating the accounts and results of operations of IRSA as from October 1, 2008.
IRSA is one of Argentina’s largest real estate companies. IRSA is engaged in a range of diversified real estate activities including residential properties, office buildings, shopping centers, credit cards and luxury hotels in Argentina. A majority of Cresud’s directors are also directors of IRSA.
As of June 2013, the participation of Cresud in IRSA was 65.45%.
Cresud is a leading Argentine agricultural company engaged in the production of basic agricultural commodities with a growing presence in the Brazilian agricultural sector through its investment in BrasilAgro—Companhia Brasileira de Propriedades Agrícolas ("BrasilAgro"), and in other Latin American countries. Cresud is currently involved in a range of activities including crop production,beef cattle raising and milk production. The Company’s business model, which it seeks to roll out abroad, taking into account the specific conditions of each country, focuses on the acquisition, development and exploitation of properties having attractive prospects for agricultural production and/or value appreciation and the selective disposition of such properties where appreciation has been realized. Cresud’s shares are listed on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange and its ADSs are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
Cresud’s agriculture production is mainly based on crops and oilseeds. Its crop production includes mainly wheat, corn, soybean and sunflower. Other crops, such as sorghum, are sown occasionally and only represent a small percentage of total sown land.
Beef Cattle Production
Cresud’s beef cattle production involves the breeding and fattening of its own animals. In some cases, if market conditions are favorable, the Company also purchases and fattens cattle which it sells to slaughterhouses and supermarkets. As part of its strategy to expand its activities within the beef cattle production chain, during 2003 Cresud started to slaughter its own cattle after obtaining the needed licenses.
Cresud conducts its milk business in three dairy facilities in two farms, "La Juanita" and "El Tigre". The Company has a total capacity of 3,800 cows in milking per day and seeks to increase total production through the application of last generation technologies including genetic improvement management for milk production, feeding strategic planification based on cattle specific requirement and the use of individual traceability to know the productivity history of each animal. Also it uses computer science in milk business to make more efficient the manual labor by processing the information created at the farms.
Cresud intends to increase its farmland portfolio by acquiring large surfaces of land with high appreciation potential. The Company also intends to transform the land acquired from non-productive to cattle breeding, from cattle breeding to farming, or applying last generation technology to improve farming yields so as to generate higher appreciation.
Cresud periodically sells properties that have reached a considerable appraisal to reinvest in new farms with higher appreciation potential. The Company analyzes the possibility of selling based on a number of factors, including the expected future yield of the farmland for continued agricultural and livestock exploitation, the availability of other investment opportunities and cyclical factors that have a bearing on the global values of farmlands.