A significant mixed farming station holding, and one of the largest in Victoria’s Western District, has been sold this month for an undisclosed amount.
Banongill Station has been sold on a walk-in, walk-out basis inclusive of 30,000 sheep, 2,400 Angus cattle, a full complement of station plant and equipment, and 3,700 acres (1,500ha) of winter cereal cropping land. It is the first acquisition of the Laguna Bay Agricultural Fund 1 (“the Fund”) following the Fund’s recent first close of A$280m.
This 17,000 acre (6,880ha) property, 8km from Skipton and 45 minutes drive from Ballarat, is one of the Western District’s flagship cropping and livestock stations.
The Banongill Station homestead was established in 1853. It was originally an outpost of Borriyalook station, which was owned by pastoralist and philanthropist Francis Ormond, founder of Ormond College. Part of Borriyalook was separated from the home station in the 1850s and renamed Banongill.
Colliers International facilitated the off-market sale on behalf of private owners Stewart and Sue Gull. Laguna Bay secured Banongill Station as they recognised it to be a ‘best in class’ rural property.
A significant mixed farming station holding, and one of the largest in Victoria’s Western District, has been sold this month for an undisclosed amount. This 17,000 acre (6,880ha) property, 8km from Skipton and 45 minutes drive from Ballarat, is one of the Western District’s flagship cropping and livestock stations.
The Gulls have made significant changes over the past 10 years, including installing 50km of laneways, renewing the stockyard facilities, upgrading water systems and pasture, building dams and installing silos and bores, grain and fertilizer sheds and a fully equipped workshop.
“When we bought Banongill, the wool market was very depressed, so we thought it was important to have diversity and, in particular, a stronger focus on cropping,” Mr Gull said.
“In our first year here, the only revenue was the wool cheque, we have created a balance of wool, fat lambs, beef and cereals. We have continually tweaked each of the areas in search of improvements, including the genetics of our sheep and cattle. “We believe we are leaving behind a strong foundation that will continue to improve. Importantly, the property offers a strong water supply. Mount Emu Creek flows all year and there are very reliable springs and bores on the property.
“The purchaser, Laguna Bay, is an Australian-managed fund which will preserve the station’s iconic status and further improve its productivity. We anticipate a smooth transition to the new owners and are delighted that the station will continue to make a valuable contribution to the Western District community."
This transaction is the first acquisition for the Laguna Bay Agricultural Fund 1, following the recent first close of the fund at $280million (AUD).
“Banongill Station, not least for the scale of its operations and the quality of its infrastructure, is one of the best holdings of its type in the Western District of Victoria,” said Tim McGavin, co-founder and CEO of Laguna Bay.
“We are excited by the opportunity to further enhance the strong foundation created by the Gull family, further developing the property with innovative cropping systems and intensive pasture management.“We are keen to ensure that Banongill continues to make a strong contribution to the innovative farming community of Western Victoria, through active participation and hosting research and development programs that enhance farming practices."
Laguna Bay was founded in 2010 by Tim Biggs and Tim McGavin. It is an Australian-owned agricultural investment specialist with a proven ability to successfully originate, execute and manage large-scale agricultural transactions across multiple sectors.The team co-founded a global top 10 olive oil producer, manages an asset that supplies 3% of the world’s almonds and has considerable working experience in most geographic regions and in all major exportable commodity groups across Australia. The Laguna Bay Agricultural Fund has a wide mandate to invest in a portfolio of low-risk, high-quality agricultural assets in Australia and New Zealand. The Fund invests on behalf of local and offshore investors including North American pension and endowment funds. The sale of Banongill Station has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
This significant transaction occurred through a referral introduction of this Queensland based Laguna Bay founders by Rawdon Briggs.