Australasian real estate funds manager, Centuria Capital Group has secured a 20-hectare tomato glasshouse facility in Guyra NSW on behalf of its unlisted pure-play, Centuria Agriculture Fund (CAF) from a family-owned investment office.
The transaction is CAF’s third off-market glasshouse acquisition taking the total size of its glasshouses under management to c.74-hectares under-glass, worth $323million with a WALE exceeding 18 years, cementing Centuria as Australia’s biggest large-scale glasshouse landlord.
CAF was launched at the commencement of FY23 as a new alternative fund vehicle for the Group and its growth has been extremely rapid, proving popular with both Centuria’s retail and private bank investment clients.
The acquisition increases Centuria’s total agricultural assets under management (AUM) to $500million.
Jason Huljich, Centuria Joint CEO, said “Centuria has expressed its intention to strategically grow its platform across alternative real estate sectors, including agriculture. We believe strong demand fundamentals will drive continued investor interest in agricultural real estate and Centuria will continue to seek high quality assets, leased to reputable operators with strong sustainability credentials in high revenue producing sectors such as protected cropping. We have developed a healthy acquisition pipeline of assets which suit the CAF investment profile and expect total agriculture AUM to exceed $600million during FY23 and continue to grow rapidly in FY24.”
The existing tenant, Tomato Exchange, has entered a new, extended lease on a 15-year term, triple-net lease with CPI-linked rent reviews. In addition to the 20-hectare glasshouse, the asset includes a one-acre nursery, 65 megalitre dam, packing and distribution sheds and cool rooms.
Tomato Exchange produces 12,800 tonnes of tomatoes from the asset each year and is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Costa Group, Australia’s largest grower, packer and marketer of vegetable and fresh fruit. The parent company has long-standing relationships with major blue-chip fresh produce retailers across Australia including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Costco and Harris Farms.
Andrew Tout, Centuria’s Head of Agriculture, said, “In just over six months, CAF has secured three high-value, off-market glasshouse assets worth more than $323million. In recent years, the pandemic and other climatic and geopolitical events have highlighted the importance of food security and access to non-discretionary fresh produce.
“Australia is also reputed for being a ‘clean and green’ producer of high-quality agricultural products and demand for Australian grown fresh food and other quality agricultural products is forecast to increase materially over the next 10 years, driven by middle class population and income growth in both local and offshore markets.”
Guyra is located 40km north of Armidale at the top of NSW’s Northern Tablelands in the New England region. The area provides a unique micro-climate with high sunlight levels in winter and cool summers.
CAF is an open-ended unlisted fund established in July 2022. CAF anticipates a distribution yield of 5.25 cpu, monthly distributions, a limited quarterly withdrawal facility, daily unit pricing and a five-year liquidity event. It has a minimum entry investment of $10,000.