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Southern Ag’s Gundaline Station up for sale

The Australia-focused investment and farm management company’s decision to sell brings one of the country’s largest irrigated properties to market.

Investment and farm management company Southern Agricultural Resources has decided to sell Gundaline Station, after acquiring it for A$25 million ($19.5 million; €16.6 million) in 2014 alongside a number of Australian and European institutional investors.

Located along the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales, the estate, which covers nearly 15,000 hectares, is one of the largest irrigation properties in Australia.

According to CBRE – the real estate management firm, which along with Kidder Williams has been commissioned to oversee the sale – Southern Ag over the last three years more than doubled the land area under irrigation, significantly improved the water storage and irrigation infrastructure, and upgraded the existing irrigation land.

“The development has been executed to an extremely high standard, with significant investments made in land forming, irrigation infrastructure and soil improvement,” said CBRE regional director Danny Thomas. “Post development, which is now ostensibly complete, the property is expected to grow more than 30,000 bales of cotton each year in a steady state.”

According to the Southern Ag website, a variety of row crops, including wheat and fava beans, have been planted at Gundaline, in rotation with cotton.

The property benefits from significant water entitlements, CBRE said, including 16,000 megaliters of Murrumbidgee Zone 2 Groundwater Entitlement and 4,515 megaliters of Supplementary Entitlement. The latter involves direct access to the Murrumbidgee River to procure either annual surface water allocation or to purchase either High Security or General Security Water Entitlements.

“There is significant upside for an incoming investor, for either further development to row cropping, or to take the land and water entitlements to its highest and best use – permanent plantings,” Thomas said.

CBRE expects strong buyer interest from domestic and international investors given that Gundaline Station is a large-scale, institutional-grade asset.

The property is being offered for sale either as land, structures and water entitlements only or on a walk-in/walk-out basis. A sale of shares will also be considered, CBRE said.