Rural Funds Management buys Australian cattle property in $9.7m deal

The manager of RFG has acquired its third property in a month Down Under amid what it deems a positive outlook for cattle in the country.

Rural Funds Management has acquired Dyamberin, a 1,728-hectare cattle property in the New England region of New South Wales.

RFM, the responsible entity and manager of the ASX-listed Rural Funds Group, will pay A$13.4 million ($9.7 million; €8.3 million) for the property, with financial close on the deal expected in October.

The firm secured wagyu producer Stone Axe Pastoral Company as a tenant for the property on a 10-year lease. Stone Axe, which counts First State Super and the GO NSW Equity Fund among its investors, already operates two other properties in the region and will introduce wagyu cattle to Dyamberin for the first time.

Speaking to Agri Investor, RFM executive Stuart Waight said the acquisition was consistent with his organization’s ongoing interest in the cattle sector and complements a strategy to find properties with development potential.

“We look for properties with scope to improve productivity through things like pasture improvement,” Waight said. “Dyamberin is also in a high-rainfall area – and we invest in sectors where Australia has a good natural trade advantage, and cattle is one of those.”

The lease with Stone Axe includes a rent review after five years, which could see productivity improvements reflected in the rental cost.

Rural Funds Management earlier this month announced the purchase of two properties in Queensland: the 8,280-hectare cattle farm Cerberus for A$10 million and the 2,942-hectare cotton property Mayneland for A$18 million.

The Cerberus beef property acquisition will also see a tenant installed from day one, with the property leased back to Katena Pty, trading as Bryant Beef.

Following the latest acquisition, RFM said its FY19 forecast adjusted funds from operation of 13.2 cents per unit and distribution of 10.43 cents per unit remain unchanged.