Proterra Investment Partners has sold one of Australia’s largest land holdings, selling its 22,500ha Corinella cropping portfolio for more than $360 million.
The portfolio holds cropping properties in the Western District and Wimmera regions of Victoria and the southeast region of South Australia.
The portfolio was divided and sold to 27 different Australian buyers after receiving 63 formal expressions of interest during the campaign.
Proterra said the portfolio achieved a projected gross return (IRR) at final close in Australian dollars on the investment exceeding 20% and a projected net return (IRR) of more than 15% on a US dollar basis.
Managing Director Becs Willson said the decision to split up the portfolio was driven by unprecedented demand from the local community driving the strongest possible outcome for Proterra’s investors.
“Despite the additional work created by splitting up the portfolio, it is wonderful to see these assets return to local farmers who in some cases have been waiting years to expand their holdings,” Willson said.
“It demonstrates the value that corporates bring to the agriculture space in aggregating, developing and operating large scale farming enterprises but also being flexible enough to determine the best exit strategy to meet the market and an absolute focus on maximising value for investors.”
The sale process was managed by LAWD’s Danny Thomas, Tom Burchell and Elizabeth Doyle.
The Proterra Agriculture team’s first investment in Australian farmland came in 2009 while the team was still a part of Cargill at Black River Asset Management.
Proterra grew the Corinella portfolio over a four-year period starting in mid-2015.
The company said its partnership operating model transitioned these individual farms into highly productive revenue-generating aggregations using the latest agricultural technology available and ensuring best management practice.
Proterra said its agriculture investment strategy pursues opportunities based on a view that rising global food demand will drive stronger commodity prices, therefore supporting higher farmland prices and increased investment and productivity on existing farms.
Recent Australian farmland deals include Laguna Bay’s sale of a farmland portfolio in Victoria’s western districts for about $70 million last week, while Rural Funds Group agreed to buy a cattle and cropping aggregation in central Queensland for $68.8 million.