AFTER a price cut of nearly $7 million, Bruce Brockhoff's Mornington Peninsula cattle and sheep farm could change hands before Christmas, ending a 75-year association with one of Australia's best-known biscuit dynasties.
Three Victorian families are in competition to secure Moorunga farm, the 283-hectare property spread over 10 titles on Moorooduc Road, Tuerong, just above Mount Martha, with expectations above $10 million.
An expressions of interest campaign closed late last month.
The vendor is Bruce Brockhoff, of the Brockhoff Biscuits family dynasty, which created Australian staples such as Salada, Savoy, Chocolate Royals, BBQ Shapes and Chocolate Ripple biscuits before merging with Arnott's in 1966.
After a lifetime on the farm, the 71-year old is pulling up stumps to follow his daughter, champion snowboard-cross competitor Belle Brockhoff, as she prepares to compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
But the difficulty of finding staff in a stricken agricultural sector has also hastened his decision to sell the Angus stud and crossbred sheep farm his family has owned for 75 years.
"It's really hard to find good staff. Agricultural colleges around the country are closing down, and most graduates choose to go back to the family farm. I can't compete with that," Mr Brockhoff said.
Apart from the income generated from cattle and sheep, the high-tech farm has extensive water rights, state-of-the-art cattle yards, a four-bedroom homestead, two managers' cottages and high-quality pastures.
Marshall White agent Sean Cussell said subdivision was possible.
All 10 titles have direct access to electricity, town water, roads and irrigation.
Mr Brockhoff has hived off chunks of the property in the past, including a 200-hectare chunk to the developers of Martha Cove in 2003. The farm also has potential to be developed as a vineyard.
The property was listed for about $17 million earlier this year through Michael Phoenix of RT Edgar, before it was relisted six weeks ago with Marshall White agents Mr Cussell and John Bongiorno .
Mr Cussell said the previously quoted price expectations were unrealistic but he was confident of an imminent sale well above $10 million.
A recent report from Landmark Harcourts recorded a 4 per cent price decline in the year to November for Victorian rural properties between four and 40 hectares, with a median price of $28,000 per hectare. A price in excess of $10 million for Moorunga farm would be significantly above this median.
Mr Cussell called Moorunga farm an "extremely rare" trophy offering with views over the Southern Peninsula, including Arthurs Seat and west across Port Phillip Bay.