PROMINENT seedstock producers David and Prue Bondfield, pictured, have struck an investment deal with New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF), designed to provide future growth for their Palgrove bull-breeding business.
Palgrove has entered into a partnership with the NZ Superannuation Fund, a government-owned investment vehicle designed to help pre-fund the future cost of universal superannuation for retirees.
Established in 2003, the fund currently has an asset value of more than NZ$35 Billion and has significant direct investments in NZ agriculture together with forestry holdings globally.
The Bondfield’s Palgrove stud, established more than 40 years ago by David’s father, Peter Bondfield, was a pioneer in the importation of the Charolais breed to Australia. Development has continued over the past 35 years with David and Prue Bondfield growing breeder numbers from an original 50 cows to nearly 2500 registered females today.
More recently Palgrove has been at the forefront of the development of the Ultrablack breed which has gained enthusiastic acceptance from many commercial producers across a range of geographically diverse regions of Australia.
Today’s agreement appears to be the first ever investment by an institutional investor into the Australian beef seedstock industry.
“This partnership with NZSF gives the Palgrove business the capacity to grow its cattle numbers to meet increasing demand from our clients,” David Bondfield said in a statement.
“It also enables us to accelerate genetic development, particularly within our Ultrablack program,” he said.
NZSF’s portfolio manager, Neil Woods said NZSF had gained a good understanding of the characteristics of agriculture as an investment, through its direct investment in global forestry assets, together with significant agricultural interests in New Zealand over the last seven years.
“We have been looking at the Australian beef industry for some time as part of an overall diversification strategy. We concluded very quickly that people, and more particularly their management expertise, was key to any successful investment in this asset class,” Mr Woods said.
“NZSF was drawn to the Palgrove opportunity for several reasons. The Bondfields are viewed as leaders in the beef seedstock industry, they have a significant history of development and growth and have the integrity we look for in our partnerships,” he said.
Mr Bondfield said the agreement meant it was ‘business as usual’ in the day-to-day operation of the Palgrove business.
“NZSF has the appropriate level of understanding of agricultural investment; a commitment to long term investment horizons and a high standard of governance, responsible investing and operating sustainably. These strengths will make NZSF a valued partner,” he said.
“Palgrove and NZSF are very excited about prospects for the beef industry. We will continue to strive for excellence in everything we do and the business will look to grow its current operations and evaluate new opportunities as they arise,” today’s statement said.
“Our business has been built on strong customer service, quality seedstock and relationships,” David said. “We look forward to strengthening those relationships with both new and existing clients.”
The terms of the partnership agreement remain confidential.
- Palgrove’s results from its 2017 spring bull sale last month underline the stud’s national standing in the seedstock industry. In a total clearance of 157 bulls offered, 100 Charolais bulls averaged $13,065 – the highest ever sale average recorded for a Charolais sale, while 57 Ultrablacks averaged $10,351 – easily the best average price for an Ultrablack bull sale in history.
- The Bondfields in 2015 were saluted as the ABC/Kondinin National Livestock Producers of the Year.
Source: Palgrove, NZSF