WSJ Reports – Singapore’s Duxton Invests in Australia Apple Orchards

Wednesday, 3rd July 2013

Singapore-based Duxton Asset Management has made an investment in Australian apple orchards, injecting 12 million Australian dollars (US$11 million) into apple grower Rivercorp Land and Water.

The funds raised will be used by Rivercorp to invest in Australian horticulture. Rivercorp fits well into our globally diversified agricultural investment strategy, Duxton chief investment officer Desmond Sheehy said. Duxton, which focuses on alternative investments in agriculture and emerging markets, manages around US$620 million. It has four other investments in Australia: a dairy farming operation in Victoria state, cereal and lamb production outfits in New South Wales state and stone fruit orchards in Queensland state.

Rivercorp is a shareholder and member of the Lenswood co-operative, which claims to be the largest supplier to Australian supermarket chain Woolworths Ltd.WOW.AU-2.26% in South Australia state. Rivercorp is also a partner to Geoffrey Thomson Orchards, which says it’s the largest supplier to Australia’s other dominant grocery chain, Coles.

South Australia state produces around 29,000 tons of apples a year, representing approximately 9% of the nation’s apple production. One of the reasons we invested in Rivercorp is because its market is predominantly domestic, Mr. Sheehy told MoneyBeat. With the Australian dollar now well below US$0.95, the nation’s export-focused agricultural assets will become more interesting to us.

Melbourne-based M&A Partners advised Rivercorp Land and Water.

By Gillian Tan WSJ Full Article