National New Markets Fund Invests $17.5M for Bongard Creameries Expansion in Minnesota

by Kristin Harlow

CHANHASSEN, MINN. — National New Markets Fund LLC (NNMF), an affiliate of Los Angeles-based SDS Capital Group, has invested $17.5 million of its New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation into Chanhassen, Minn.-based Bongards Creameries. Bongards is a farmer-owned co-op that relies on its 267 member farms to provide milk for its cheese and whey products. As a result of the investment, Bongards will be able to increase its capacity from 4.1 million pounds of milk per day to 5.4 million pounds per day. Bongards will add an estimated 22 new full-time jobs to its existing base of 143 employees. Member farms are anticipated to add up to 260 full-time farm jobs to their existing 1,000 employees.

The NNMF investment utilizes capital from the NMTC program, created by Congress in 2000 and administered by the U.S. Treasury Department. Investment groups such as NNMF compete to be selected to receive NMTC awards each year. The selected “allocatees” in turn sell the tax credits to institutional investors. The proceeds from the tax credit sale are then used as part of the investment into projects benefiting low-income communities.

Bongards received the NNMF allocation as part of a complex $81 million NMTC financing package. Dudley Ventures is the investor purchasing the NMTCs from each of the participating NMTC allocatees: NNMF, Mascoma Community Development, Waveland Community Development, Rural Development Partners and DV Community Investment.

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