Laguna Bay acquires Olam's almond groves
LAGUNA Bay Pastoral Company has sealed a deal with Singaporean-listed commodity trader Olam International – backed by sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings – to purchase and lease back 12,000 hectares of almond groves in Victoria for more than $200 million.
Olam bought the groves in 2009 from the failed managed investment scheme company, Timbercorp, for $128 million cash, in what was regarded then as a fire sale.
Laguna Bay Pastoral's joint chief executive Tim McGavin confirmed the deal, which was released to the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday night, The Australian Financial Review reports.
Earlier this year, Laguna won the endorsement of major Swiss fund of funds manager Adveq, and has been looking for a large agricultural asset in Australia for more than a year.
Laguna also has support from the United States-based Global Endowment Fund. Earlier in November, Olam sold off its Dirranbandi cotton ginnery to Shandong Ruyi and fifth-generation Australian wool trader Lempriere Group for more than $20 million.