THE Sustainable Agriculture Fund’s (SAF) eastern Australian cropping assets covering around 16,000 hectares in total are under contract to several parties including local farming businesses and institutional investors like TIAA-CREF Global Ag Properties.
Comprising aggregations at North Star in northern NSW, Darlington Point in southern NSW, and Lake Bolac in Victoria’s Western District, the assets were listed for sale in March as one of Australia’s largest portfolios of dryland and irrigated cropping country,
The sale comprises 10 well-improved properties, plant, equipment, standing crops, and the Darlington Point aggregation’s sizeable irrigation allocation.
CBRE Agribusiness regional director, Danny Thomas, said single parties also placed bids for the total portfolio.
“These bids were significantly exceeded by the combinations of bids for individual assets,” Mr Thomas said.
“Local farming groups bid very strongly for individual assets or combinations thereof, and the institutional and corporate groups bid very strongly for aggregations or combinations of aggregations.
SAF has been managed by AgCAP, and its CEO, Martin Newnham, said the result was a pleasing one which built on strong operational returns over the past two years to deliver a very robust total return across the life of the fund.
AgCAP general manager of strategy, Deo de Jesus, said local contractors and service providers would continue to be used by the properties’ new owners.
About the aggregations
North Star: Covers 9,710has, including 8,546ha of arable land in an area prized for its ability to produce high-yielding and high-protein milling wheat, as well as barley, canola and chickpeas.
Darlington Point: Located in the Murrumbidgee Valley, this aggregation comprises 4,926ha of irrigated and dryland cropping country. Cotton is the key crop grown on its 2,611ha of laser-levelled row-crop country which is irrigated by two Lower Murrumbidgee Deep Groundwater entitlements water totaling 12,6o8 megalitres.
Western Victoria: This 1,145ha aggregation includes 1,261ha of arable country which produces high-yielding cereal and canola crops.
An announcement is expected soon from AgCAP and CBRE in relation to the sale of SAF’s King Island and Cradle Coast dairy and grazing assets, which listed in March alongside the cropping aggregations.