PSP adds macadamias to Australian portfolio with A$100m-plus investment

PSP Investments has purchased assets owned by Macadamias Australia through its Australian nut platform Stahmann Webster, taking control of more than 1,000 ha of planted orchards.

PSP Investments has made one of the largest investments to date in Australian macadamias, acquiring the majority of assets owned by family-owned Macadamias Australia for a sum understood to be north of A$100 million ($71 million; €65 million).

Agri Investor understands that PSP’s Australian agribusiness subsidiary Stahmann Webster is behind the purchase, which will see it take control of more than 1,000 ha of planted macadamia orchards and other land near Bundaberg, Queensland. The deal also sees Stahmann Webster acquire a large macadamia processing and packaging facility.

All Macadamias Australia employees are to be offered roles in the new PSP-controlled business or within operations to be retained by the Steinhardt family, who have built the business over three generations. It is planned for all grower contracts to roll over as part of the transition.

Macadamias Australia bills itself as the largest family-owned, vertically-integrated macadamia producer in the world, with its farms and facilities capable of growing and processing up to 10,000 tonnes of nuts each year.

The Steinhardt’s will retain ownership of several business units within the group, Agri Investor understands. Trevor Steinhardt will own and operate Happy Nut, a cut nut retail business, while Kevin Reinhardt will continue as a consultant to Stahmann Webster’s farming operations while continuing to own his own orchards.

The Steinhardt’s daughter Janelle Gerry and her husband Andrew Gerry will own and operate the value-adding facility, an associated tourism business and café, and the Farmfresh Fine Foods vegetable processing facility.

PSP Investments declined to comment. The firm established Stahmann Webster following its takeover of the ASX-listed walnut and almond grower Webster in 2019, creating a nut-focused agribusiness platform that will now add macadamias.

Macadamias have been a target sector for several investors in recent months, with Nuveen Natural Capital reported to have purchased one of Australia’s largest macadamia orchards, the Manera family-owned Macadamia Enterprises, in December 2022 for more than A$70 million. That asset is also located near Bundaberg.

The ASX-listed Rural Funds Group has pushed into macadamia orchards, too. According to its most recent annual report, as of June 30, 2022, it seven macadamia orchards covering 814 planted ha, as well as a further 10 properties with potential for macadamia development covering up to 5,505ha, much of which is under way.