Duxton accepts Altora Ag’s $70M offer for Timberscombe

Grain Central, April 15, 2024

Timberscombe covers 8432ha and is ideal for growing wheat, barley, canola and pulses. Photo: LAWD

DUXTON Farms  has accepted an offer of $70 million for Timberscombe from Altora Ag, with settlement due next month, subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

In a statement, Duxton Farms said some income from the sale will be used in both direct and equity-investment growth strategies in the Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales.

“Timberscombe has been a significant part of Duxton’s broadacre farming portfolio since 2008, and it has been a fantastic asset for us,” Duxton Farms chair Ed Peter said.

This sale allows us to redeploy capital into growth and development projects that are better suited to the company’s expanding strategic scope, and to pay a small distribution to investors as a thanks for their support so far.”

Duxton Farms said the sale of Timberscombe is intended to shift its portfolio focus away from traditional large-scale broadacre cropping in NSW, and into new growth opportunities in Australian agriculture that will require an ongoing capital outlay.

This is expected to put some pressure on earnings in the short term, but build significant value in the long-term by elevating and stabilising the company’s earnings profile.

Timberscombe covers 8432ha, with 7794ha arable, making it one of the largest contiguous cropping holdings in the southern half of NSW.

Its improvements include 8498 tonnes of grain storage, an 80t weighbridge, machinery sheds, workshop, a chemical storage shed, fill points, an airstrip, a manager’s residence, and two additional dwellings used for contractor accommodation.

Duxton Farms listed the Back Creek property Timberscombe for sale via an EOI campaign that closed January 17. Photo: LAWD

Timberscombe fronts the Newell Highway and is situated at Back Creek in the south-west slopes region, 27km east of West Wyalong and 70km south-west of Forbes.

Its soils are mostly black self-mulching and brown clays, and its annual average rainfall is of 464mm.

Timberscombe was listed for sale late last year via an expressions-of-interest campaign that closed January 17.

Altora Ag has its origins in Brabin, Firman and Block, a family partnership based at Temora, around 60km south of Timberscombe.

In 2009, US entity Black River Investments bought into BFB, and over the next few years, grew its area cropped to 50,000ha,

In 2016, Canadian pension fund PSP Investments established Daybreak Cropping, and bought properties in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

In 2019, PSP bought the majority stake in BFB, and in 2023 merged Daybreak Cropping and BFB to create Altora Ag.

Including the Timberscombe purchase, Altora Ag has 69 properties with a total arable area of 177,870ha.

NOTE: The second, third and fourth-last paragraphs of this story have been amended to correct errors relating to the history of Altora Ag published in an earlier version of this story.

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