Greenshields Agri, a UK-based farmland owner and operator, is planning to list on the AIM exchange and raise £3 million through an initial public offering, it said on Tuesday.
The company will provide the first-ever listed farmland investment opportunity in the UK. The move comes in the wake of rising prices – the average value of prime arable farmland across the UK strengthened by 14 percent to £10,000 per acre in 2014, according to the Savills Market Survey of UK Agricultural Land 2015. This follows a 12 percent rise in 2013 and a 10-year cumulative average growth of 277 per cent. Prime London property prices rose 135 percent by comparison.
Equity investors will also be entitled to inheritance tax relief after owning the stock for two years due to regulations surrounding the ownership of operating farmland. “The Company has been advised that its Ordinary Shares will qualify for Business Property Relief at a rate of up to 100 percent which provides Inheritance Tax Relief for investors holding them for more than two years,” reads the announcement.
The company wants to raise capital to expand its operations and buy more land. Some 220 acres in Northumberland have already been earmarked for acquisition, according to the release. The proceeds will also go towards crop production, entitlement purchase, storage and transportation, farm equipment and related agricultural businesses.
Greenshields operates over 2,850 acres of land in the northern grain belt of the UK, a term the group uses to describe “the strip of arable farm land stretching up the east coast of the UK from the Humber estuary in England to the river Tay in Scotland”, according to the release.