Warakirri Asset Management has bought two established vineyards in WA for $22 million to boost investments for the Warakirri Diversified Agriculture Fund.
The purchase of the well-established Amadeus Vineyard, Margaret River and Smithbrook Estate, Pemberton, takes the fund's assets to more than $140m and increases it's WA horticulture assets to three, alongside West Gingin citrus orchard and berry aggregation, Southbrook.
The latest deal was made up of a 15-year lease-back structure with a high-quality tenant partner - Margaret River Wine Production Pty Ltd, which forms part of the Fogarty Wine Group.
Both vineyard investments build on Warakirri's diversification by geography, climate, water source and counter-party, while adding further scale and complementing the fund's existing premium wine sector exposure.
In WA, Warakirri owns 14,755 hectares of arable land comprising six properties between Lake Grace and Pingrup known as Carinup, 12,747ha of arable land on the property called Lobethal, about 100km east of Esperance and 24,326ha in the eastern Wheatbelt on the Mawarra property that is 30 kilometres east of Merredin and 300km from Perth.
Mawarra was the fund's first asset in WA and has demonstrated an ability to deliver above-target operating returns across its wheat, barley and canola enterprises.
Warakirri's cropping business also has several blocks in the northern Wheatbelt, known as Yoona Springs.
These are three distinct hubs located within a 35 kilometre range of each other and produce wheat, canola, lupins and chickpeas.
The Armadeus Vineyard and Smithbrook Estate are in highly sought-after and productive regions of Margaret River and Pemberton, respectively.
Supported by a reliable climate and water, the vineyards produce premium grapes for several of the Fogarty Wine Group brands.
Fund portfolio manager Steve Jarrott said through this investment, the group was adding another two great premium wine assets and a fantastic new tenant partner for the fund.
Fogarty Wine Group is one of Australia's most awarded wine producers, producing a range of premium wines across several brands and regions.
Fogarty Wine Group executive chairman Peter Fogarty said it was pleased to be partnering with Warakirri on two of its vineyard assets.
"With significant expansion of our owned vineyards in Tasmania, we saw the opportunity to balance our owned versus leased vineyard portfolio - and Warakirri presented as the best partner for these vineyard assets," Mr Fogarty said
"The reallocation of capital allows Fogarty Wine Group to plant additional vines on our vineyards owned in Margaret River and Tasmania, as well as support funding for the ongoing growth of our ultra-premium wine brands."
In just over 25 years, Mr Fogarty and his family have created a portfolio of wine assets across Australia that make up a collection of wine brands from six different regions.
They include Dalwhinnie, in the Pyrenees, Victoria, Lake's Folly in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Deep Woods Estate and Evans & Tate in Margaret River, Millbrook Winery in the Perth Hills, Smithbrook in Pemberton and Lowestoft, Thalia, Strelley Farm Estate and Tasmanian Vintners in Tasmania.
The addition of what are the fund's seventh and eighth assets, builds on the portfolio's existing investments that include high quality wine, almond, berry, citrus, soft leaf vegetable and agri-infrastructure assets, with seven best-in-class tenant partners across five States.
Warakirri is a multi-boutique asset management firm established in 1993 with specialist investment offerings for institutional and retail investors across multiple asset classes, including agriculture, equities, cash and specialised United States real estate.
It has been a leader in agricultural investment management for more than 25 years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the investment principles which are critical for the success of agricultural investments.
Warakirri's agricultural REIT products, Warakirri Diversified Agriculture Fund and Warakirri Farmland Fund, provide investors with low volatility exposure to the agriculture asset class, investing nationally across a broad range of high-quality property assets in conjunction with best-in-class tenant partners.
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