TWO of Victoria’s largest cropping aggregations are up for sale with the listing of Aware Super’s 9004-hectare Lake Boga agribusiness portfolio, and the 22,386ha Corinella Group Portfolio.
Brought to market by PwC and LAWD, Kilter Rural has managed the Lake Boga portfolio for the past 15 years on behalf of VicSuper, which merged with Aware Super last year.
Located south of Swan Hill, Lake Boga covers 9004 hectares in total of organic and conventional horticulture and broadacre cropping land, including 3600ha of irrigation, and 20,000 megalitres of Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District water entitlements.
Aware Super senior portfolio manager infrastructure and real assets, Mark Hector, said selling Lake Boga after 15 years was consistent with broader portfolio decisions to sometimes strategically divest after transformation and growth, and recycle capital into new value-add investment opportunities.
“We believe that now is the right time to allow a new investor to come in and support the great team in northern Victoria to accelerate the growth of the business and ensure a prosperous future.”
He said the investment had significantly enhanced the productivity of the farmland and achieved major environmental benefits, and delivered good returns to the fund’s members.
”Aware Super has had a long interest in agriculture as an asset class and will continue to investigate future opportunities in this sector.”
Home to fruit, veg, sheep
Lake Boga includes one of Australia’s largest field tomato enterprises, a commercial Queen Garnet plum orchard, irrigated certified organic land growing winter cereals and organic tomatoes, sheep grazing, and biodiversity zones presenting future carbon-offset opportunities.
Kilter Rural CEO, Cullen Gunn, said following significant investment, the aggregation has been transformed into a highly sustainable business that would deliver for its owners and community for decades to come.
“Over multiple years Kilter Rural, together with VicSuper and then Aware Super has carefully put together and invested heavily in the transformation, redevelopment and regeneration of the farm and ecosystem landscape to implement a proven soil and regeneration model,” Mr Gunn said.
The vendor said significant opportunities for growth still exist, based on further land development to increase the irrigation footprint and improve production.
The portfolio is expected to attract interest from domestic and foreign investors, including both acquire-to-operate and acquire-to-lease parties.
Initial expressions of interest in Lake Boga close at the end of October.
Four hubs for Corinella
Corinella is a LAWD listing on behalf of US-based private equity firm Proterra Investment Partners, and expressions of interest close October 7.
The portfolio comprises three dryland farming hubs in Victoria, the 6959ha Wimmera Aggregation centred on Donald, the 6778ha Greens Creek Aggregation in the Stawell district, and the 6437ha Western District Aggregation at Lake Bolac.
Glenroy Plains covers 2212ha, sits between Naracoorte and Penola in South Australia, and has a 6000ML irrigation allocation.
It grows onions, potatoes and wine grapes, as well as winter and fodder crops.
The four hubs are the amalgamation of more than 50 properties which have a combined arable area of 20,423ha, and also offer opportunity to run and value-add livestock.
Their geographical spread covers districts where annual average rainfall ranges from 386 millimetres in the Wimmera to 575mm at Glenroy Plains.
Potential buyers can register interest in one or more of the hubs, or the portfolio as a whole, which is expected to attract interest from a range of domestic and offshore investors.
Source: Aware Super, LAWD