Texas Downs property hits NSW market

Meat processor Thomas Foods is selling the 5,728ha horticulture property, which has a High Security water entitlement for the Darling River.

Thomas Foods International, one of Australia’s largest food producers and independent meat processors, has placed the Texas Downs property up for sale in New South Wales’ Lower Darling region.

The 5,728-hectare property is located around 8 kilometers from the township of Menindee and currently operates as a mixed horticulture, viticulture and livestock operation.

It features 12.6 hectare of citrus fruit planting, 80 hectares suitable for pivot irrigation and 12 hectares planted to wine grapes.

Texas Downs also includes a 550-megaliter High Security water entitlement for the Darling River that is linked to the property’s perpetual lease and a 2,730-square-meter modern packing shed with multiple offices, a 500-square-meter cool room facility and two homes with worker accommodation and farm shedding.

CBRE Agribusiness is managing the sale process and director Phil Schell described the physical infrastructure, including shedding, as “significant.”

“This property might suit buyers looking for early fruit – so those from the Sunraysia or Riverland regions, for example, who might be looking further north for this kind of value-adding opportunity,” Schell told Agri Investor, with harvests coming earlier in the Lower Darling region than in those regions further south.

On the likelihood of buyers mainting the property’s current use mix, Schell added: “It’s in a climate that is suited to horticulture, which is still quite niche, but we’ll let the buyers do the talking [on future use].

“It’s also potentially a good land-banking opportunity.”

Schell said the property is likely to fetch upward of A$2.5 million ($1.8 million; €1.6 million) inclusive of all livestock and equipment and that CBRE was being “realistic about the market” when discussing that price.

Texas Downs was part of cotton grower Tandou’s operation in the 1990s before being acquired by ASX-listed Webster in 2015 and was primarily used for that crop before being converted to horticulture.

The sale process is being run via an expression of interest campaign that closes on June 13.