THE historic New Norcia Farm is set to be acquired by mining millionaire Andrew Forrest's Harvest Road company.
While there is speculation on the final sale price, in September, Farm Weekly reported that the land would fetch between $35 to $40 million.
Harvest Road is part of Tattarang, a private investment company, and the property will be integrated into the diversified agri-business of Andrew and Nicola Forrest.
The premium land hasn't been under new ownership for 175 years and is said to be premium 'blue riband' land, having long been managed by the Benedictine monks since 1847.
"We pay tribute to the outstanding stewardship of the Benedictine community that has preserved the exceptional productivity of the land for almost two centuries," said Tattarang chief investment officer John Hartman.
"We are committed to further developing the farm's productive capacity.
"We know this is an iconic place with an unbroken 175-year agricultural legacy that has helped support generations of regional farming communities."
Harvest Road is looking to develop the relationship with the surrounding shires and local communities, continuing to work and support regional farms and provide additional long-term employment for the region.
The New Norcia Farm spans about 8000 hectares, with an estimated 3600ha arable, in the renowned Wheatbelt region, known for its high rainfall of about 520 millimetres a year, quality soil types and proximity to Perth.
The purchase only includes the farm land and not the historic New Norcia townsite and the leasing contracts held by local farmers will be honoured until they conclude in 2023.
The Forrests were still on their way back to Australia, so were unavailable for comment, along with Ray White real estate agent Steve Vaughan, who has handled the sale.
In 2014 the Forrest family purchased Harvey Beef and positioned itself as an advocate for the agricultural sector.
They also own Koojan Downs, a feeding facility in close proximity to New Norcia which is set to be completed in early 2022.
The combination of these two assets, plus the New Norcia farm is in alignment with the Forrests' desire to grow the future of the beef industry.
According to Harvest Road's chief executive officer Paul Slaughter, the purchase is part of a long-term plan to stabilise the local beef supply chain.
"Our network of integrated supply chain assets represents a game changer for WA and a strategic step to mitigate against changing climatic conditions, stabilising the local beef supply chain and enhancing the local economy through investment and local job creation," Mr Slaughter said.
The planned purchase is pending final approval by the Holy See, the Roman Catholic government.
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