Squire Patton Boggs has assisted Macquarie Asset Management (Macquarie) in its disposal of agribusiness division Lawson Grains Pty Ltd (Lawson Grains) in the largest Australian real estate farming transaction of 2021. While the sale price is undisclosed it has been reported that the asset sold within the advertised guide range of AUD$550 to $600 million.
Lawson Grains is one of Australia’s leading corporate grain growers, comprising a 90,500 arable hectare agricultural land estate across New South Wales and Western Australia. One of the country’s largest grains and oilseeds businesses, it produces more than 200,000 tonnes per year of wheat, barley, canola and pulses.
Macquarie is divesting Lawson Grains at the conclusion of a 10-year investment mandate with its investors.
The deal, which is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval, will see Lawson Grains pass into Canadian ownership, under Canadian Alberta Investment Management Corporation and agricultural asset manager New Forests.
Michael Swift, a partner in the firm’s Perth Real Estate team, undertook vendor due diligence and assisted on the sale process on behalf of Lawson Grains. He observed “This deal is one of a number of very large transactions in the agribusiness sector over the past five years. We have been seeing increasing interest in large-scale diversified assets, particularly from domestic and international institutional investors. This is a trend that we expect to continue.”