EUROPEAN pension fund-backed ACE Farming has quietly snapped up a dairy farm near Yarram, in South Gippsland, primed for development opportunity for about $8 million.
ACE Farming has steadily built up a portfolio of properties spread across Western Victoria, Gippsland and Northern Victoria to become the largest mainland dairy farmer in Australia.
The company, which is notoriously private, snapped up Macquarie Group's Melro Park dairy for about $7 million last year and now has a milking cow herd of about 13,000. The latest deal involves the 668 hectare farm known as Tarraville. The property has more than 2000 megalitres of underground water, used for the irrigation of paddocks.
Stockdale and Leggo's Jason Harris confirmed a sale had been completed but declined to give details.
"It is a hell of a good farm," Mr Harris said. "There are not many of these big places left here to buy, most of them are less than 400 hectares."
Mr Harris said the property was very well developed, with excellent infrastructure and decent irrigation systems. It sold with 1200 cows.
ACE Farming, founded by Jeremy Bayard in 2008, took on the former Valad Property Group as a joint venture partner in its early years, but when Valad collapsed during the global financial crisis ACE Farming had to bring in overseas money. The company declines to comment on deals.