‘Flexible’ cattle and fodder portfolio hits market in central Queensland

A collection of five properties being sold by European family office THF comes with significant water allocations that could allow for a change in land use.

A portfolio of five properties in central Queensland has hit the market, with institutional investor interest likely to be sparked by the inclusion of water allocations and a focus on irrigated cropping outside the Murray-Darling Basin.

The properties are being sold by a European family office, which holds them in Australia under a company known as THF Finance. THF purchased the properties in 2010 for around A$35 million ($26 million; €22 million) and may fetch as much as 2-3x that price now, based on the sale prices of similar properties in the region.

The inclusion of more than 6,600ML of water allocations across the portfolio also provides the opportunity for a buyer to develop permanent plantings or cotton, subject to approvals.

The portfolio comprises five properties, all located in central Queensland to the west and south-west of Rockhampton: the 1,917ha property known as The Pocket, which includes 5,364ML of water; the 3,859ha Mostowie, which includes 400ML of water; the 3,168ha Bindaree, which includes 850 ML of water; the 3,744ha Karamea; and the 9,212ha Lucie Station.

THF has been operating the portfolio as a beef cattle enterprise, with more than 650ha of center pivot irrigation supporting fodder production including Leucaena and hay. The portfolio has more than 35km of frontages along the Dawson and Fitzroy rivers.

Oxley Capital Partners managing director Ben Craw is overseeing the sale process, which is being conducted via a two-stage expression of interest campaign. The deadline for initial EOIs is September 17.

“The portfolio gives geographic diversity among different districts, along with scale, water security and operational flexibility. The water allocations are a key feature of the portfolio,” he said, while also pointing out that Mostowie and Bindaree are contiguous properties, which could also prove attractive to institutional or corporate buyers.

Craw told Agri Investor that the inclusion of water allows for a flexible sale process, with THF open to selling the properties separately or together in one line.

Expressions of interest will also be accepted for the enterprise’s cattle as a separate asset, with the incumbent management team also open to negotiations with any buyer about providing a turnkey solution.