Australian agri market heats up as ‘crown jewels’ put on the block

Another institutional-scale asset has hit the market Down Under, expected to generate broad-ranging buyer interest and offers exceeding $40m.


Mt Schanck Station has become the third Australian institutional-scale asset to be put up for sale in the past two months, confirming a peak in large-scale M&A activity Down Under.

Described as a “crown jewel” of South Australia’s agricultural market by CBRE, the real estate firm assigned to oversee the transaction, the 2,870 hectare-property is being offered on the open market for the first time. It is expected to sell for more than A$50 million ($39.0 million; €33.1 million).

“It is incredibly rare for landholdings of this scale that have such a unique position in the history of Australian agriculture to be presented to the market. To that end, Mt Schanck is now being offered publicly for sale for the first time ever, having been owned by only three families,” said CBRE regional director Danny Thomas.

The property, which is located near Mount Gambier, the Port of Portland and livestock processing facilities at Warrnambool, is being offered on a walk-in/walk-out basis, including more than 2,000 Angus cows with calves as well as around 2,500 Composite ewes with lambs at foot.

In addition, a ground water entitlement of nearly 5,000 megaliters provides the opportunity for further development as well as for conversion to alternative uses such as irrigated cropping or dairy, according to Thomas.

Of the 2,870ha, approximately 700ha have been developed to center pivot irrigation, used for lucerne-based pastures, fodder cropping and hay production, with occasional third-party use for potatoes and other cash crops under short-term leases.

The property also includes a four-bedroom residence built around 1864, as well as staff residences, a six-stand shearing shed, shearer’s quarters and Pratley sheep and cattle yards.

Mt Schanck Station’s current owners, the Evans family, bought the property in 2005 in an off-market deal from the Clarke family, who had owned Mt Schanck for more than 140 years. The previous family had bought the property in 1861.

The two other institutional-scale properties that recently came on the market and which CBRE has been commissioned to sell are Gundaline Station and Norman Farming.