The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has made its first offshore farm investment, taking a stake in Australian beef stud Palgrove for an undisclosed amount.
The deal, which has received approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, will increase the fund's rural land portfolio to 33 farms worth approximately $340 million, it said in a press release. In its 2016 annual report, the Fund said it owned 21 farms valued at $204m. As at August 31 this year, however, it had 1 per cent of its $35.7 billion fund invested in rural farmland.
Chief investment officer Matt Whineray said Palgrove is a high quality, highly successful business that complemented the Fund's existing investment portfolio. "We are pleased to make the fund's first offshore investment under our rural land strategy. We continue to see rural land as an attractive long-term investment and a good diversifier for our portfolio," he said.
Palgrove is based near Stanthorpe, Queensland, but has livestock and properties now spread across Queensland and New South Wales, according to its website. The stud currently runs about 5,000 head of registered cattle.
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The Super Fund was set up in 2001 to help meet the country's future pension needs. Its acquisition of rural land is driven by a desire to diversify its investments and to benefit from increased demand for meat and proteins as Asian countries become wealthier and favour a more western diet.