Centuria acquires $177m farm from Roc Partners

Also today, we are reporting Centuria and MA Financial acquired an Adelaide CBD office.

Centuria has snared another agricultural investment, at Warragul, about 100 kilometres south east of Melbourne.

The deal, with the occupant, Flavorite Group, which was acquired by Roc Partners last year, will be sealed in two parts – starting with an $88.5 million outlay for a 50 per cent interest.

The Warragul property contains glasshouses spreading 33 hectares.

The balance – worth the same amount – will be paid in April.

The purchase comes six months since Centuria merged with Primewest, which holds significant agricultural product in unlisted entities including a Boneo celery farm and Barossa Valley vineyard.

In July, the partnership acquired a Riverina almond orchard from Harvard University for $53.9m to seed a fund, the Primewest Agricultural Trust No 2.

The Warragul asset

Operating as Flavorite Hydroponic Tomatoes, the Warragul property at 264-318 Copelands Road was offered with a 20 year leaseback.

Glasshouses occupy 42pc of the 78 hectare block.

The holding also includes a nursery, production plant and distribution centre.

A 10ha netted blueberry production area was being expanded when the asset was listed in June.

Abutting suburban Warragul, the investment has the potential to make way for a housing estate-longer term (story continues below).

Accelerated growth planned

Flavorite, Australia’s largest glasshouse owner and operator, will pay a starting annual rent of $10m at Warragul, with fixed three pc rent rises.

In 2041, the occupier can exercise the first of its four, five-year options.

It was represented for the sale by Colliers’ James Beer, Duncan McCulloch and John Marasco.

“Flavorite is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of fresh produce nationally and internationally, and has a diversified product mix that includes tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers and several high premium snacking venues,” Mr Beer said when marketing started.

“Warragul is both a key population centre in Melbourne’s south east growth corridor, as well as a premium agricultural region known for producing high value commodities,” he added.

Roc Partners intends to accelerate its growth program with sale proceeds.

“We are incredibly excited to continue the growth strategy with the Flavorite team, which is well ahead of plan and on track to making Flavorite a genuine powerhouse in the Australian fresh produce market” investment director Frank Barillaro said in June.

The group holds other regional Victorian glasshouses at Katunga, Mansfield and Tatura.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.