Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2010 (Revised February 2013)

Cresud S.A., Farmer or Real Estate Developer?

by Ray Goldberg, Arthur I Segel, Gustavo Herrero and Andrew Terris

Abstract

Alejandro Elsztain, CEO of Cresud S.A., is faced with the difficult choice of whether to sell, develop, or continue to hold the 151,000 hectares of remaining undeveloped farmland at the company's Los Pozos farm in Argentina. Developing the land will further expose Cresud to a variety of risks related to owning and operating farmland, but the potential financial rewards are potentially significant. As competition has increased and farmland values have skyrocketed in the last eight years, Cresud's overall corporate strategy has been to increasingly focus on development opportunities outside of the country—in areas such as Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Alejandro's looming decision on Los Pozos is, in many ways, reflective of choices facing his company in general.

Keywords: Agribusiness; Investment; Investment Portfolio; Risk Management; Ownership Stake; Property; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Real Estate Industry; Argentina;

Citation:

Goldberg, Ray, Arthur I Segel, Gustavo Herrero, and Andrew Terris. "Cresud S.A., Farmer or Real Estate Developer?" Harvard Business School Case 211-011, November 2010. (Revised February 2013.)