Insight Investment’s Global Farmland Fund sells two Australian cattle stations

The UK-based asset manager sold the neighboring properties to Rallen Australia, a company backed by one of South Africa’s richest men.

Insight Investment has sold two cattle stations in northern Australia to Rallen Australia, a subsidiary of South African firm Rallen owned by retail magnate Giovanni Ravazzotti, for around A$70 million ($47 million; 43 million).

The cattle stations in Tanumbirini and Forrest Hill in the Northern Territory were owned by Thames Pastoral Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Insight Global Farmland Fund.

The properties cover more than 550,000 hectares, with Tanumbirini the far larger at more than 500,000 hectares.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but Agri Investor understands that Rallen Australia paid around A$70 million for the two properties. Thames Pastoral paid around A$33 million for Tanumbirini when it acquired the property from Sterling Buntine in 2013.

Both properties are located near Daly Waters in the Northern Territory, around 600km south-east of Darwin. Together, they have capacity for around 40,000 head of cattle and the sale included 36,400 cattle plus followers.

During its ownership, Thames Pastoral upgraded stock water, pipelines, yards, fencing and homestead buildings, according to the selling agents Rawdon Briggs and Bram Pollock of Colliers International Agribusiness, and Geoff Warriner and Chris Holger of JLL Agribusiness.

The sales process resulted in three shortlisted bids, with Rallen Australia emerging on top.

Rallen Australia has acquired several other Northern Territory cattle stations in the last two years, including Kalala Station, Mount McMin Station and Big River Station.