Business News Australia reports that Centurial Capital Group has acquired Sundrop Farms for A$70M from the Morrison & Co Growth Infrastructure Fund bringing, the group’s assets under management value to A$421 million.
With its 20-hectare greenhouse in Port Augusta, South Australia, Sundrop Farms leverages a wealth of sustainable practices such as solar power, electricity generation, freshwater conservation, and production to enable year-round production of produce using control environments and hydroponics. Their system uses solar power to produce freshwater for irrigation and turn it into electricity used to power their greenhouses. Seawater is also used as a natural disinfectant reducing the need for pesticides.
The CEO of Centuria Joint, Jason Huljich, said in an interview with Business News Australia, “We are happy to work with Sundrop which has created a world-first integrated sustainable farming technology, resulting in more predictable amounts of output originating from the protected nature of its agricultural activities.”
In a press release, the previous owner of Sundrop Farms, Morrison & Co Growth Infrastructure Fund’s Investment Director, David Mckinnon comments “We acquired the business in 2019 recognizing its potential to deliver a step-change in the way food is produced. We’re proud to have worked with management over the years to turn the business into a mature and profitable one, being a key regional employer, and leader in sustainable food production.”
Morrison states that the company will be sold on behalf of the Morrison & Co Growth Infrastructure Fund (MGIF), which invests in “ideas that matter” supported by long-term secular trends including water shortages and decarbonization and seeks gross returns of 13–15% annually. Excellent returns on the investment handily surpassed these goals. The property assets have been acquired for A$ 70M and the operating companies have been acquired for an undisclosed amount. In 2017, a Guardian article estimated that the Port Augusta farm reportedly cost about A$ 200M to build.
Image provided by Sundrop Farms