Anholt buys 6,400 hectares of Romanian farmland

The US-based asset management firm that handles the assets of the Kattegat Trust, a charitable trust, has bought a farm in Romania and is due to complete on a second.

Anholt Investments, the US-based asset management firm, has bought two pieces of Romanian farmland that total over 6,400 hectares.

The firm, which handles the assets of the $2 billion Kattegat Trust, a family office’s charitable trust, bought a 4,200 hectares cropping farm from an undisclosed Austrian businessman earlier this month. The land includes a 20,000 tonnes storage facility.

It is also due to complete on a 2,220 hectare farm with 800 hectares of leased land and buildings, machinery and crops from Arland Invest, a Danish agricultural manager.

The sizes of the deals were not disclosed, although Bo Hansen, the chief executive of Arland Invest, told Agri Investor that land costs roughly between €2,000 and €3,000 a hectare in the Botosani area where both farms are located. He said the price was closer to €10 million than €500,000.

“To end up selling to an American trust is the ultimate because it is value for money for both sides and they only buy first class properties,” he said. “The new owner wants the farm to be the headquarters for his farming business in Romania. We are very happy with the result and it has been a great experience to work and develop this project in Romania.” Hansen and his sons bought the land in 2007 and developed it.

Agriculture is just one part of Kattegat’s portfolio. The trust’s key asset is a controlling stake in a large oil tanker, according to Rudolph Krediet, partner at Anholt. “Our job is to help diversify them into other assets,” he told Agri Investor.

The trust’s agricultural portfolio consists of land assets in Latin America and now Romania, its first foray into Eastern Europe. “Romania is a very attractive jurisdiction for farmland,” said Krediet, adding that they hope to grow their exposure to Romania over time.

Anholt follows an own-and-operate investment model, preferring to put its own team on the ground to manage the land rather than leasing out the land to local farmers.

Kattegat does not have specific allocations for different asset classes but actively invests when opportunities arise, according to Krediet.