MACQUARIE Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) has acquired the remaining 51 per cent stake in Cubbie Station in south-west Queensland, taking the agricultural fund’s total ownership to 100pc.
The acquisition includes all properties and the Dirranbandi cotton gin.
The fund attained the controlling stake from Chinese company Shandong Ruyi (Ruyi).
In a statement dated February 23, MIRA said it looked forward to continuing Cubbie Agriculture’s involvement in and support for local communities.
“The change of ownership will not materially change the day‐to‐day operations of Cubbie,” the statement said.
“Paul Brimblecombe will continue as CEO of Cubbie, supported by the existing management team, and all current employee positions remain unchanged.”
There will also be no change to the Voluntary Water Contribution agreement, which stated that Cubbie would voluntarily contribute up to 10 gigalitres to the Culgoa River and Lower Balonne intersecting streams over a five-day period following extended dry spells.
Macquarie acquired a 49pc share in Cubbie in 2019, reducing Ruyi’s share of the aggregation from 80pc to 51pc.
Ruyi initially bought into the aggregation in 2012, with its subsidiary Cubbie Agriculture operating Cubbie Station near Dirranbandi, The Anchorage and Aspen near St George, and associated facilities.
The properties jointly cover 93,700 hectares.
Season ups cotton’s appeal
The Cubbie transaction comes amid a flurry of activity in the market for irrigated cotton properties.
Several high-value aggregations have hit the market in recent weeks, including another Dirranbandi irrigated cotton property, Tooroora.
The 6677ha property comes with a 2262 megalitre (ML) irrigated water licence, 12,800ML of on-farm storage and access to water harvesting events within the Lower Balonne system.
The property is set to go to auction on April 21, with agents Andrew Jakins from Nutrien Ag Solutions Goondiwindi and Stephen Burnett from Dirranbandi Pastoral Agency handling the sale.
After the above-average summer rainfall, Mr Burnett said Tooroora was an attractive proposition for any prospective buyer.
He said the recent rainfall had boosted the on-farm storage with full dams and high soil moisture profiles increasing the appeal of the property.
“We believe that there is every likelihood that there will be full storages when the currently cropping has matured and has irrigation has finished,” Mr Burnett said.
“It has had a beneficial flood go over it about two months ago and nearly all the dryland country went under.
“Even the stuff that didn’t go under still has a full profile of moisture for the winter crop.”
At the Queensland-New South Wales border, the 26,855ha Worral Creek Aggregation is up for sale, featuring water entitlements and infrastructure for dryland and irrigated cotton.
Also Proterra Investment Partners has listed three portfolios this week, including the nearby One Tree, a 23,594ha cropping aggregation.
Both offerings boast excellent on-farm water storage and entitlements.
Alongside the excellent water availability in these irrigated cropping districts, it is believed the strong market for cropping properties across the country has also prompted the listing of these aggregations.
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Great to see Cubbie Station back in Australian hands.