The East Kimberley Springvale grazing property aggregation will return to Australian ownership, following an agreement where Twiggy Forrest’s Harvest Road group will acquire the 600,000ha group of properties for a price believed to be around $70 million.
The Springvale aggregation consists of 604,430ha (1.5 million acres), comprising Springvale, Mable Downs, Alice Downs and Texas Downs aggregations. The properties are located in the East Kimberley region, about 70km north of Halls Creek and 320km south of Kununurra.
The properties were first put to market by vendors Yeeda Pastoral Co in 2020.
Yeeda, headed by Perth businessman Mervyn Key, is now majority owned by foreign interests, with equity from fund managers and individuals from South Africa, Singapore, the US and South America.
The Springvale deal is Twiggy Forrest’s second major northern WA acquisition from foreign owners in a month, having purchased 643,000ha Balfour Downs in the East Pilbara region, together with 12,000 Red Brahman cattle last month for a figure around $40 million.
In a statement issued yesterday, Harvest Road said Springvale had the capacity to breed large numbers of calves that will suit the company’s vertically-integrated beef supply chain in Western Australia, suitable for domestic processing and consumption, as well as export meat sales.
The property has traditionally been well developed with historic infrastructure including the original homestead that was built by legendary cattle and horseman Tom Quilty. The aggregation also includes staff quarters, sheds and ten sets of permanent cattle yards.
About 35,000 head of Brahman cattle were included in the deal.
Springvale Aggregation boasts many natural water holes and extensive water infrastructure. Some watering points have recently been upgraded with new solar pumping systems and a replacement trough program is underway.
Included in the purchase will be licences, permits and basic infrastructure to operate a “glamping” style tourism business on the road into the world-famous Bungle Bungle National Park.
Harvest Road, the diversified agri-business of Andrew and Nicola Forrest, which includes the Harvey Beef brand, already has a historical connection to the property. The current aggregation was put together by E. G. Green and Sons, who owned Harvey Beef, and was an important part of their supply chain in the 1980s and 1990s.
Tattarang (Twiggy Forrest’s investment vehicle) chief investment officer John Hartman said Springvale would form an important part of Harvest Road’s integrated supply chain, while maintaining a commitment to highest possible animal welfare and environmental stewardship standards.
“Harvest Road is looking forward to becoming a member of the East Kimberley community and contributing further to the future of the Australian pastoral industry, and we’re also excited about the opportunity to support tourism in this iconic region,” Mr Hartman said.
Harvest Road’s chief operating officer for pastoral, backgrounding and feeding facility, Ben Dwyer thanked previous owners, and said the purchase would be another long-term investment in the future of Western Australia’s beef industry.
“The acquisition of Springvale will continue our commitment to developing a vertically integrated beef supply chain across the State,” Mr Dwyer said.
“We will focus on the sustainability of the property by destocking appropriately to leave a well-selected breeding herd and to build a strong genetic base for our supply chain, as well as allow the country a well-deserved rest,” he said.
Yeeda Pastoral Co chairman Mervyn Key said his company had been privileged to be the custodian of the Springvale Aggregation for the past 20 years.
“We are happy to be handing the reins on to Harvest Road to bring the station back to its former position as an iconic breeding property and build on the potential of the Kimberley pastoral industry,” Mr Key said.
The planned transaction by Harvest Road is subject to approval by the Western Australian Minister for Lands, among other required approvals.
Harvest Road is one of Australia’s largest and most diverse agri-food businesses. The Group’s beef division – which includes the Harvey Beef brand – is Werstern Australia’s largest beef processor, owning and operating a state-of-the-art processing facility near the town of Harvey.
Source: Harvest Road
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