Corinella Group of Farms Listed for Sale by Proterra Investment Partners

Corinella Group of Farms Listed for Sale by Proterra Investment Partners

By James Wagstaff

The huge portfolio of farms in western Victoria and SA is understood to be one of the biggest-ever offered in southeast Australia.

A massive portfolio of 50 cropping farms has hit the market for an eye-watering $350 million.

The Weekly Times can reveal that US private equity firm Proterra Investment Partners has listed its 22,500-hectare Corinella Group of properties in Victoria and South Australia as part of what is understood to be one of the biggest-ever offerings of prime farmland in southeast Australia.

“I can’t think of any that were bigger,” selling agent LAWD senior director Danny Thomas said.

The Corinella farms are located around Lake Bolac in Victoria’s Western District, north of Ararat and Stawell, around Navarre in the Wimmera and at Naracoorte in South Australia.

Mr Thomas said the portfolio – operated as four aggregations – was the amalgamation of about 50 individual properties which had been highly developed for irrigated and broadacre cropping purposes. There are also substantial water entitlements of about 6000 megalitres.

The Corinella operation is being offered as a whole or in individual lots.

“We think locals are going to come really hard for these assets,” Mr Thomas said, rating the current rural property market as “exuberant” with records being smashed across most states thanks to low interest rates, strong agricultural commodity prices and a sharp turnaround in seasonal conditions.

Wimmera farmer and National Farmers’ Federation vice president David Jochinke said local land prices had “gone through the roof” during the past two years.

“The capital growth in land has been absolutely staggering … they would have easily doubled in the past 24 months,” Mr Jochinke said. “It is a windfall for farmers but it is making it hard for anyone entering the market or even wanting to expand.”

Corinella is the latest in a long list of multimillion-dollar farm offerings across Australia, led by the $600m listing of Macquarie Agriculture’s Lawson Grains business of 105,000 hectares in NSW and Western Australia. Billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart has seven cattle stations on the market in the Northern Territory and Western Australia for $300m while retail king Brett Blundy is selling two stations in the Northern Territory for about $230m.

Major transactions this year have already included the $500m sale of NSW cotton giant Auscott Limited to Canada’s PSP Investments and the $357.35m sale of the Vitalharvest business — which owns citrus and berry farms leased to horticulture giant Costa Group – to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets following a drawn-out bidding war with Roc Partners.

Additionally, Stanbroke Pastoral Company last month sold its 438,000ha Miranda Downs Station in Queensland’s Gulf Country to the Hughes family of Hughes Pastoral Company for $180m.

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