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Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) Introduces Venture Capital Fund

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The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG - Free Report) recently launched 1868 Ventures, which will focus on investments in controlled environment agriculture technologies, natural and organic alternatives for fertilizers and controls, plant genetics as well as sustainable products and packaging.

Per the company, the fund is part of its commitment to discover innovative approaches to address evolving needs of gardeners and professional growers. Further, investments will be targeted toward areas where Scotts Miracle-Gro may be a partner, a logical customer or can add value through expertise in product formulation and development, retail distribution, marketing and branding as well as indoor growing products.

The company also stated that the fund will be stage-agnostic. It will focus on early and growth stage companies that have demonstrated traction in the market and are generating revenues. Initially, the typical investments will be between $0.25 million and $2.5 million, including reserves for follow-on investments.

1868 Ventures will mainly pursue investments in companies that operate in North America. The investment efforts will be managed along with Touchdown Ventures, which specializes in corporate venture capital. Touchdown will work closely with Scotts Miracle-Gro’s senior executives to operate the fund.

Shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro have rallied 28.9% in the past year against the industry’s 32.9% decline.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Scotts Miracle-Gro currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD - Free Report) , Newmont Corporation (NEM - Free Report) and AngloGold Ashanti Limited (AU - Free Report) , all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Barrick has an expected earnings growth rate of 54.9% for 2020. The company’s shares have surged 72.8% in the past year.

Newmont has an expected earnings growth rate of 56.3% for 2020. Its shares have returned 53.7% in the past year.

AngloGold has an expected earnings growth rate of 109.9% for 2020. The company’s shares have surged 68.3% in the past year.

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