PROMINENT Melbourne businessman Tim Roberts-Thomson has sold his 33,000ha Southern Riverina aggregation, Juanbung and Boyong stations near Oxley, for a reported $60 million.
The large-scale grazing enterprise includes a 55km frontage to the Murrumbidgee River, and substantial timber assets.
No buyer was disclosed in the off-market deal negotiated by CBRE’s Danny Thomas, supported by Aither’s Chris Olszak, but the new owner is understood to be domestic in origin, as no Foreign Investment Review Board approval was required.
Mr Roberts-Thomson’s TRT Pastoral Co has used Juanbung & Boyong Stations for backgrounding up to 10,000 head of feeder cattle for nearby feedlots each year, as well as operating one of the largest privately-owned River Red Gum forests in the world, servicing the Juanbung Mill firewood and charcoal business.
The aggregation has access to a 13,500MI supplementary water entitlement and, uniquely, incorporate the terminal floodplain delta of the Lachlan River, referred to as Great Cumbung Swamp.
The holdings were sold on a walk-in, walk-out basis including all plant and equipment associated with the livestock operations and Juanbung Mill. The existing operations are set to continue under the new ownership.
CBRE’s Danny Thomas said the off-market nature of the transaction highlighted the depth of buyer demand for rural properties with scale.
“The sale of Juanbung & Boyong Stations is evidence of the strong investment appetite for grazing land with significant scale in the Southern Riverina. Multiple parties showed interest in the property,” Mr Thomas said in a statement.
The water entitlements and inherent environmental values of the properties also drew significant interest from conservation groups and ‘quasi-government’ groups.
“We expect to see more commercial transactions being undertaken by this segment of the market in the future as they look to make long term returns and conserve targeted high value ecological sites,” Aither’s Chris Olszak said.
Mr Roberts-Thomson said his family was delighted with the outcome, particularly given the properties will continue to be operated as they have been for the foreseeable future.
“We believe the assets will be well stewarded by the incoming owners and that they will retain our loyal staff and enhance the business operations.”
The sale allowed TRT Pastoral to focus on building its the King Island Beef business, purchased 12 months ago, along with its remaining mainland operations, Mr Roberts-Thomson said.
TRT’s major holding is the King Island aggregation off Tasmania, which is operated as an Angus cattle breeding and finishing enterprise, running 15,000 head including more than 7000 Angus breeders. The company bought the King Island aggregation for $45 million from the Sustainable Agricultural Fund in November 2017.
“It is an exciting time for our business as we continue to look to expand our beef breeding footprint,” Mr Roberts-Thomson said.