Real estate trust buys more farms and orchards | farm online
Australia’s largest listed agricultural property fund, the Rural Funds Group, has strengthened its portfolio of livestock and crop properties in Queensland.
The trust informed the ASX that it had swapped contracts for livestock, cultivation properties as well as two macadamia orchards.
The trust is managed by the management of rural funds.
Livestock and cultivation properties are The Pocket (1,917 hectares) purchased for $13.8 million and Baamba Plains (4,130ha) which changed hands for $32 million.
The Pocket property is located near Rockhampton while Baamba Plains is near Rolleston, approximately 120 km southeast of Emerald.
This was part of the largest sale of five properties in the sale of the 21,900ha THF portfolio managed by Oxley Capital Partners.
This portfolio also included Bindaree, Mostowie, Karamea and Lucie Station in central Queensland.
Rural Funds Group’s new properties include 20,733 megaliters of water rights that the trust says are currently underutilized.
“RFM plans to use excess water rights to improve property productivity,” the trust said in a statement to the ASX this week.
“Productivity developments include expanding irrigated cropping areas and increasing livestock carrying capacity through improved pasture.
“These developments are consistent with those implemented on other nearby natural resource assets held by RFF.
“The acquisitions, in conjunction with existing properties held by RFF, also provide additional scale for potential tenants.”
RFM will initially operate The Pocket and Baamba Plains on behalf of RFF, in order to undertake development work before seeking tenants.
Settlement of both properties is expected this month.
The two macadamia orchards in Beerwah and Bauple total 475 ha and were purchased for $63.1 million from macadamia orchards acquired from family business Costi Farms.
Beerwah is located on the Sunshine Coast and Bauple Orchard is near Fraser Island.
The trust said both are mature orchards that will complement its existing RFF macadamia orchard developments “enhancing their marketability to potential tenants”.
Most of these existing orchards are in the Bundaberg region.
“The orchards have potential for improving yields and expanding planted area,” the trust said.
“RFM will implement orchard improvements and operate the assets on behalf of RFF until leased.
The purchase of the orchards includes shares in Marquis Macadamias Ltd, a processing and marketing company in Brisbane (subject to approval by the board of Marquis Macadamias Ltd).
Orchard settlement is expected next month.
“The acquisitions are in line with RFM’s strategy to acquire assets with the potential to improve productivity, in agricultural sectors in which RFM has operational experience and Australia has a comparative advantage,” the trust said. .
The trust owns a diversified portfolio of Australian agricultural assets which are leased primarily to farmers.
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