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Growth Farms I acquires first property

The Australian sheep and cropping fund manager has acquired the first farm for its Australia Fund I, a 486-hectare property in south-west Victoria.

Growth Farms, the Australian sheep and cropping fund manager, has acquired the first farm for its Australia Fund I, a 486-hectare property in south-west Victoria.

The Australia Fund held a first close on A$35 million ($27 million; €25 million) in April after attracting a commitment from a UK insurance company via global real estate specialist CBRE Global Investors.

The price of the transaction was not disclosed but Growth Farms targets deals within a A$7 million to A$12 million range.

The Elwood property was purchased from a retiring owner-operator and has potential to be converted into dairy which Growth Farms believes will contribute to appreciation in the land value, according to a press release.

Growth Farms employs a mixed farming strategy focusing on sheep meat, cereals and oil seed production, where grazing sheep prepare land for cropping and the land use is rotated.

Growth Farms intends to buy properties that have the potential to improve productivity by up to 30 percent.

The fund is targeting $150 million overall which Growth Farms hopes to close by the end of the year. The fund, like the firm’s A$400 million in separate accounts, will focus on deals within a A$7 million to A$12 million range.