ONE of Australia’s largest grain growers, BFB, has announced the sale of Proterra Investment Partners’ majority stake to the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers and a major investor in the Australian agricultural sector.
The transaction delivers a strong outcome for its outgoing shareholders, as well as long-term, patient capital to support the continued strategic development of one of Australia’s most significant and successful agriculture companies.
BFB was established in 1985. Based at Temora in southern New South Wales, it has accumulated a blue-chip cropping portfolio of 44,167 hectares of arable land, in addition to significant grain storage, fertiliser, agronomy, livestock, farming and logistics businesses. BFB’s properties are within a 150-kilometre radius of Temora, and include Billabong Station in the Eurongilly Valley east of Wagga Wagga.
Under the new majority shareholder arrangement, BFB will maintain the current management team, head office and business structure and several BFB managers will continue to be investors in the company.
PSP Investments is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with CAD$158.9 billion of net assets as of September 30, 2018.
Headquartered in Ottawa, it manages a global portfolio of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and private debt.
Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages net contributions to the pension funds of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force.
The completion of the sale followed an extensive, competitive process and the clearance of all applicable regulatory requirements.
PSP’s bid was considered the most compelling based on: its offered price; its low execution risk and creditworthiness to complete the transaction; and PSP’s Natural Resources Group’s strategic fit with BFB—and the financial resources at its disposal to support BFB’s expansion plans.
PSP’s Natural Resources Group is a global agriculture investor and is already invested in Australia’s agriculture sector through partnerships with local operators in the areas of animal proteins, row crops, fresh produce and tree nuts.
“Since partnering with Proterra in 2008, we have achieved outstanding growth underpinned by scale and efficiency,” BFB founder and managing director, Terry Brabin, said.
“Now, with PSP Investments, we look forward to succeeding in the next phase of our growth strategy to support our business, employees, customers, suppliers and the broader Australian community.”
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