Canada’s PSP buys stake in Qld eggs

Liz Wells, March 26, 2024

PSP has bought a majority stake in Ellerslie Free Range Farms, which includes the 2900ha Yallamundi Farm south of Millmerran. Photo: Yallamundi Farm

CANADIAN pension fund PSP Investments has bought a majority stake in Ellerslie Free Range Farms, one of Australia’s largest egg producers.

In an announcement posted earlier this month, Ellerslie announced that PSP Investments had acquired a “strategic interest in the business alongside the Hall family who founded it with a single farm in the 1960s.”

Ellerslie is located near Millmerran in the Darling Downs region of southern Queensland.

With the family-owned McLean Farms based at nearby Pittsworth, Ellerslie owns half of Sunny Queen, believed to be Australia’s largest egg producer, processor and distributor.

Ellerslie also owns the 2900ha Yallamundi Farm, which produces branded pasture-raised and organic eggs from hens able to roam under more than 300,000 olive trees.

Through joint ventures, PSP already has major investments in Australian agriculture as part of its global portfolio.

In broadacre farming, they include cotton grower and ginner Australian Food & Fibre, which is based at Moree in northern New South Wales and includes the assets of Auscott.

BFB at Temora in southern NSW and Daybreak Cropping last year merged into Altora Ag  as PSP’s major Australian grain producer.

PSP is the sole owner of Australia’s major tree-nut producer, Stahmann Webster, and in the livestock space, PSP owns a stake in Qld-based beef producer Hewitt Cattle Australia, and Aurora Dairies in New Zealand and south-eastern Australia.

PSP is believed to have purchased 60 percent of Ellerslie, a move which is not expected to affect its operations, including its 400-strong workforce, or relationships with customers and suppliers.

“While for our people and partners it will be business as usual, we know that PSP Investments’ global scale will help us accelerate our plans to significantly increase cage free production in the coming years,” Ellerslie CEO and managing director Greg Quinn said.

“I look forward to working with PSP Investments and I know that we are absolutely like-minded in our shared commitment to the highest standards of quality, sustainability and animal welfare.”

PSP Investments senior managing director real assets and global head of natural resources Marc Drouin said PSP’s investment in the Hall family’s business fitted PSP’s approach to investing in best-in-class local operators.

Mr Drouin said that included an alignment on a long-term horizon, and a commitment to sustainable farming.

“In many cases, this results in us investing alongside farming families who have cared for their land and animals for generations,” Mr Drouin said.

“That’s what we have found in Ellerslie.”

The investment has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.


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