SAF completes King Island portfolio sell-off with $45m exit

The transaction comes after the Australian super-owned vehicle agreed to divest 10 properties to a group of investors including TIAA-CREF for A$110m.

The Sustainable Agriculture Fund has sold its 6,800 hectare beef operation on King Island to TRT Pastoral Group for a reported $45 million.

The news is the latest instalment of a divestment process kick-started in March through which Melbourne-based AgCap hoped to reap A$180 million ($137 million; €115 million) for a portfolio of 17 properties. It comes after the fund agreed to sell 10 of them, in three Australian regions, to a group of investors that included TIAA-CREF.

SAF is owned by Australian superannuation funds AustralianSuper, Australian Catholic Super, Mine Wealth and Wellbeing, the University of Melbourne and Christian Super, with AMP Capital also invested.

The King Island assets – bought on a walk-in, walk-out basis – will add to the 580,000 hectares managed by TRT Pastoral Group across Victoria and New South Wales. The firm grew out of a cleaning business built out by Tim Roberts-Thomson, an Australian businessman who also derived his capital from the gradual sale of telecoms firm Hutchison Australia.

SAF purchased the King Island aggregation for a reported $27 million in 2010. In August, the vehicle reported a full-year return of 18.7 percent after fees and tax, a performance it attributed to both strong cash returns and capital growth.