Proterra puts 49,000-ha Australian grain enterprise on the block

Expected to attract institutional investor interest, the transaction could value Riverina cropping enterprise BFB at up to A$400m, Agri Investor understands.

New South Wales cropping enterprise BFB has been put up for sale by Proterra Investment Partners and other shareholders, with 100 percent of the business on offer.

BFB owns a cropping portfolio comprising 48,753 hectares in the Riverina region of NSW. It also has a piggery and a significant logistics and grain-storage and handling operation. The grain-storage unit, run as a joint venture with US agricultural giant Cargill, is capable of holding more than 400,000 tons of grain in addition to BFB’s on-site storage facilities.

The company’s land is spread over 28 properties located in different climatic conditions and around 44,000 hectares of BFB’s portfolio is arable land.

The business could fetch as much as A$400 million ($293.7 million; €251.1 million), Agri Investor understands, meaning it is likely to appeal to institutional investors or corporates with institutional backing. PwC and CBRE, which are running the sale process together, declined to comment on a guide sale price. First-round offers are due at the end of September.

Proterra Investment Partners, the biggest shareholder in BFB, is understood to be divesting to take advantage of a strong selling market in Australia. BFB’s existing management team will transfer with the sale.

“We have held a very close relationship with the BFB team, having built up a diverse business with deep operational synergies and quality management. Financially, the investment in BFB has provided our investors with stable earnings, while providing exposure to attractive agricultural markets,” said Proterra founding partner Brett Bechtle.

CBRE head of agribusiness Danny Thomas told Agri Investor that the BFB operation was a “highly diversified business with lots of income streams.”

“This is one of the best integrated grain businesses in the country,” he said. “It’s in high-performing country and the current owners have been able to get very high yields.