Major Australian rural investor stops farm portfolio going offshore

Australian private equity firm ROC Partners has purchased a majority shareholding in the Murray River Land (MRL) business, which comprises about 60 mostly former dairy farms covering 10,000 hectares between Numurkah and Tocumwal.

The purchase has stopped foreign investors buying another key Australian agricultural asset.

ROC has also secured a majority stake in Ulupna Pastoral Company, which manages the Murray River Land assets.

Murray River Land and Ulupna Pastoral Company were placed on the market earlier this year for about $120 million.

The former dairy farms will be used as feedlots and ROC will invest $30 million as part of its purchase.

In the statement ROC said its was pleased to bring new Australian institutional capital to this investment.

ROC said MRL Murray River Land was the first investment of a $150 million first-close fund which enjoyed good support from domestic superannuation clients.

ROC has forged a reputation as one of Australia’s keenest investors in Australian food and agriculture sector assets.

The firm, which has about $7 billion invested in private equity funds, co-investments and directly into portfolio companies, also owns oyster farmer and marketing roll-up Australian Oyster Coast, wagyu specialist Stone Axe Pastoral Company and has a stake in Capilano Honey.

Last year it It agreed to buy a stake in family-owned vegetable grower Flavorite, which is best known for its greenhouse tomatoes.

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