Swiss family office puts almond and pistachio orchard up for sale – exclusive

Sherpa Asset Management is selling the pistachio and almond farm near Fresno for around $26m.

Sherpa Asset Management, the Swiss family office, is putting a 750-acre almond and pistachio farm in California up for sale after over 10 years of ownership. It is selling the property for around $26 million.

The property, near Fresno, is being sold to help diversify the family office portfolio, but it was not an easy decision to make, according to Christian Frey, chief executive of Sherpa.

“It’s actually producing a very stable income for us, but because we are starting to invest in new agri projects in Latin America, we did not want to be over-exposed to agriculture,” said Frey. “So it was a tactical allocation decision and a difficult decision for us.”

Frey estimates that the new owners could return 9 percent a year from production alone, after Sherpa invested a lot into stabilising production.

“Initially we started with pistachio and almonds and experimented with other crops such as figs and after that pomegranates,” he said. “But due to the convincing results of the nuts, we decided to focus on those two crops only and replaced the fruit crops by planting additional almond trees. Those almonds are now coming into productivity so the whole property will be fully productive in the next one or two years, so it is a shame that we are selling the property.”

Frey said he had not yet calculated the return on investment for the family office on its 2004 acquisition.