AU: Centuria secures a 20ha tomato glasshouse

Centuria has secured a 20-hectare tomato glasshouse facility in Guyra NSW on behalf of its unlisted pure-play, Centuria Agriculture Fund (CAF), from a family-owned investment office.

The transaction is CAF’s third off-market glasshouse acquisition taking the total size of its glasshouses under management to c.74 hectares under glass, worth $323 million with a WALE exceeding 18 years2, cementing Centuria as Australia’s biggest large-scale glasshouse landlord.

The acquisition increases Centuria’s total agricultural assets under management (AUM) to $500 million 1.

Jason Huljich, Centuria's Joint CEO, said, “Centuria has expressed its intention to strategically grow its platform across alternative real estate sectors, including agriculture. We believe strong demand fundamentals will drive continued investor interest in agricultural real estate, and Centuria will continue to seek high-quality assets leased to reputable operators with strong sustainability credentials in high revenue-producing sectors such as protected cropping. We have developed a healthy acquisition pipeline of assets which suit the CAF investment profile and expect total agriculture AUM to exceed $600 million during FY23 and continue to grow rapidly in FY24.”

The existing tenant, Tomato Exchange, has entered a new, extended lease on a 15-year term, triple-net lease with CPI-linked rent reviews. In addition to the 20-hectare glasshouse, the asset includes a one-acre nursery, 65 megalitre dam, packing and distribution sheds, and cool rooms.

Tomato Exchange produces 12,800 tonnes of tomatoes from the asset each year and is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Costa Group, Australia’s largest grower, packer, and marketer of vegetables and fresh fruit. The parent company has long-standing relationships with major blue-chip fresh produce retailers across Australia, including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Costco, and Harris Farms.

Andrew Tout, Centuria’s Head of Agriculture, said, “In just over six months, CAF has secured three high-value, off-market glasshouse assets worth more than $323 million. In recent years, the pandemic and other climatic and geopolitical events have highlighted the importance of food security and access to non-discretionary fresh produce.

“Australia is also reputed for being a ‘clean and green’ producer of high-quality agricultural products, and demand for Australian-grown fresh food and other quality agricultural products is forecast to increase materially over the next ten years, driven by middle-class population and income growth in both local and offshore markets.”

Guyra is located 40km north of Armidale at the top of NSW’s Northern Tablelands in the New England region. The area provides a unique micro-climate with high sunlight levels in winter and cool summers.

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