AAM Investment Group buys Australian property to create mega prawn farm

Aquaculture firm Seafarms Group novated its option to buy Legune Station in the Northern Territory to AAM but signed a lease to continue developing Project Sea Dragon.

Brisbane-based asset manager AAM Investment Group has completed the acquisition of Legune Station, a circa 280,000-hectare property in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Aquaculture company Seafarms Group originally held an option to purchase Legune Station for approximately A$62 million but novated the option to AAM Investment Group. Agent CBRE Agribusiness declined to disclose whether AAM’s purchase had been made at the option price or for a different figure.

During the period that it held the option to buy the property, Seafarms Group obtained all approvals required to build Project Sea Dragon, one of the world’s largest integrated land-based prawn farms, on 106,400 hectares of the site.

As part of the deal, Seafarms has signed a 90-year lease with AAM for that part of the property which will see it continue to develop the project. The plans were first announced by listed firm Seafarms in a statement to the ASX in July.

AAM Investment Group will continue to run a large-scale cattle operation on the rest of the site and will invest in property improvements to improve production capacity. The station was carrying a herd of 23,000 cattle when it was put up for sale.

The property also has a 35,000 megaliter dam on site and is located close to the Ord River Irrigation Area.

CBRE senior consultant Geoff Warriner said the transaction was “immensely complex” and is the first in an anticipated series of deals in the Northern Territory for AAM Investment Group.

AAM Investment Group has been contacted for comment.

Among other investments, AAM manages and operates the portfolio of Regional Livestock Exchanges, which handles more than 754,000 cattle and 2,268,000 sheep annually. The Regional Livestock Exchanges portfolio is owned and financed by Palisade Investment Partners’ Regional Infrastructure Fund.