Property fund manager Centuria Capital Group (ASX: CNI) has cemented its position as Australia’s leading large-scale glasshouse landlord with the acquisition of a greenhouse and glasshouse facility on the Adelaide Plains in South Australia for $21.5 million.
The Sydney-based group, which has $21 billion in funds under management, acquired the property via its open-ended unlisted Centuria Agriculture Fund (CAF) which is primarily focused on investing in precision farming assets, or more specifically protected cropping.
The glasshouse facility, located at 234 Carmelo Road in Riverlea Park, is operated by P’Petual Holdings and provides 12ha of protected cropping on a 59ha site.
The facility includes 6ha of glasshouses and 6ha of double-skinned plastic greenhouses, plus packaging sheds, with the capacity to produce and package about 1,488 tonnes of tomatoes, 136 tonnes of cucumbers, 517 tonnes of eggplants and 43 tonnes of capsicums a year.
The property is located 38km north of the Adelaide CBD near the town of Virgina, in an area known as the food bowl of South Australia.
Centuria Capital says P’Petual Holdings, one of South Australia’s largest vegetable growers, provides strong lease covenants including a 10-year triple-net lease with annual rent increases.
The latest acquisition comes on the heels of CAF buying two glasshouses in FY23 for a total of $143 million, boosting Centuria Capital’s agricultural platform to $530 million at the end of FY23.
With the latest acquisition, CAF now has a portfolio of four fully occupied assets worth $351million with a 17-year WALE (weighted average lease expiry).
“The Adelaide Plains acquisition is aligned with CAF’s investment strategy to acquire high quality agricultural assets, leased to reputable operators with strong ESG credentials and in higher revenue producing sectors such as protected cropping,” says Jason Huljich, Centuria’s joint CEO.
The acquisition comes with development approval for an additional 4ha glasshouse that CAF notes will provide a value-add opportunity to further enhance its footprint in the agricultural real estate sector.
The group’s head of agriculture, Andrew Tout, says the acquisition offers an ‘exceptional opportunity for P’Petual to scale-up and implement operational efficiencies’.
“It is another great example of Centuria partnering and collaborating with seasoned agricultural innovators," Tout says.
CAF was launched in early FY23 as an alternative fund vehicle for Centuria and since then it has proved popular with retail investors and private bank investment clients.
Since inception, CAF has increased its distribution yield from 5.25c per unit to 5.5c per unit.
During FY23, Centuria also expanded the concept across the Tasman with the launch of the NZ Agricultural Property Fund seeded with an $18 million glasshouse.
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