NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Argentina was the Greece of the 1990s, defaulting on its debt and snubbing private creditors, and investors have largely stayed away ever since. But they are snooping around now that other economically benighted regions of the world have taken the heat off this fertile and productive gem, making it look decent by comparison.Adecoagro ( AGRO) is one of the largest agricultural businesses in South America, with operations in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The company has been producing grains, rice, oilseed, dairy products, sugar, ethanol, coffee and cotton by the truckload for worldwide export since 2002. Adecoagro's transition from a simple Argentinian agricultural business to a dominant force in the South American marketplace has been aggressive. The company began to expand by adding several farmlands in Brazil and Uruguay throughout the years before starting its sugar operations in 2005. Two years later, Adecoagro started its dairy business through the acquisition of La Lacteo (also out of Argentina). Co-Founder and CEO Mariano Bosch has remained in charge of the company since its inception and previously was founder of agricultural consulting and technical management company BLS Agribusiness. Adecoagro owns over 700,000 acres, spanning 38 farms, five processing plants and several storage facilities, and the company operates three primary business lines:
- sugar and ethanol; and
- land transformation.