High net worth family sells 21,900 hectares

Five Fitzroy Basin properties hit the market together

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Five Fitzroy Basin properties are up for sale and stiff competition for farmland could see the vendor double or triple their money.

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Five properties across central Queensland totalling 21,900 hectares have just hit the market.

Stiff competition for farmland could see the international investor who bought the portfolio for around $35 million in 2010 double or triple their money.

Little is known of the investor, believed to be a high net-worth German family, which made the purchase under the company name of THF Finance Pty Ltd.

Located in the Fitzroy Basin west of Rockhampton, the THF portfolio currently operates as a beef cattle enterprise along with Leucaene and hay production powered by more than 650ha of centre pivot irrigation.

It includes The Pocket, Gogango, which has a 5364-megalitre water allocation to irrigate its 1917ha. Similarly, the 3859ha Mostowie, Baralaba, has a 400ML water allocation and the 3168ha Bindaree at Moura has 850ML.

Rounding out the portfolio are the dryland 3744 ha Karamea at Moura and 9212ha Lucie Station at Bluff.

The THF portfolio fronts over 35 kilometres of the Dawson and Fitzroy Rivers and the average annual rainfall ranges from a low of 643 millimetres at Lucie Station and to a high of 762mm at The Pocket.

The water allocation alone could be worth close to $10m, after Rural Funds Group last year pledged $32.4 million for a 21,600 megalitre allocation sourced from the Rookwood Weir.

In 2020, Queensland Cotton Corporation paid $2301/ha for a 3403ha Clearmaize property an hour's drive from Lucie Station at Emerald, while smaller properties in the Moura district have made around $4000/ha in the last three years.

The properties will be sold either individually or as a group by a two-stage expression of interest process managed by Oxley Capital Partners.

The firm had been reviewing the investment for 18 months, managing director Ben Craw said.

"Over the course of the last 12 months we've seen the depth of the buyers," he said.

That, Mr Craw said, had been driven by record commodity prices, low interest rates and a growth mindset.

"People are chasing scale to increase production and ultimately efficiency which adds to their return on assets.

"Given the scale and diversity of their portfolio, primarily, we will see a lot of activity from neighbouring landowners and district landowners but, having said that, we might see some institutional capital as well."

Mr Craw said an extensive pasture improvement program had been conducted across the portfolio including blade ploughing, spraying for regrowth and aerial seeding.

"Lucie's more of a breeding block and then Mostowie, Bindaree and Karamea are your finishing fattening blocks, as is The Pocket," he said.

PICK YOUR PROPERTY: The THF portfolio of five properties is west of Rockhampton in the Fitzroy Basin.

PICK YOUR PROPERTY: The THF portfolio of five properties is west of Rockhampton in the Fitzroy Basin.

While the properties complemented each other, only Mostowie and Bindaree share a boundary.

"Bolt them together and you have a 7000ha aggregation and if someone might have similar size next door, it then becomes a formidable offering," Mr Craw said.

Cattle are available in the EOI program by negotiation. THF purchase and market its own trade cattle, comprising Brahman, Brangus, Droughtmaster and Charbray.

Infrastructure and plant and equipment will be included as part of the sale program.

The incumbent management team are open to discussions with an incoming purchaser which would provide an absentee owner with a 'turnkey' management solution, Mr Craw said.

Nevertheless, Oxley Capital Partners was expecting a busy schedule of inspections for the five properties that would be difficult to manage in the midst of the pandemic.

Interested parties would need to be qualified before an inspection and invited to submit a non-binding EOI.

Two to three weeks after the first round EOI closed on Friday September 17, Mr Craw expects a shortlist of prospective buyers would be asked to submit final and and binding offers.

Parties that are shortlisted following the stage 1 EOI process will then be invited to participate in a best and final offer. Date and time will be advised.

Email ben.craw@oxleycp.com or phone Ben Craw on 0417 230 482.

The story High net worth family sells 21,900 hectares first appeared on Farm Online.

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