Growing appetite for poultry drives demand for broiler farm properties

Colliers International sees spike in interest in tightly held rural sector amidst several new listings

Increased appetite for chicken meat is expected to drive keen interest in several poultry farm assets about to hit the market in Victoria.

Colliers International’s Jesse Manuel and Bruce Falk have been appointed to sell a three high quality broiler farm assets in Victoria as a portfolio.

The portfolio of three properties is situated in the Greater Geelong region of Victoria, comprising 11 sheds with a total capacity in excess of 500,000 birds. The ‘Lethbridge’, ‘Rocky Ridge’ and ‘Winchelsea’ farms feature long-term grower contracts with Baiada Poultry Ltd, Australia’s largest chicken meat processor, and are paid on rate per square metre of shed space.

“As an asset class, poultry farms are relatively tightly held and therefore tend to be more thinly traded than many other intensive livestock operations,” Mr Manuel said. “As such, we expect this portfolio to attract significant interest from a range of institutional and high net worth investors.

The properties are located just over an hour’s drive south-west of the Melbourne CBD. Mr Manuel said the Greater Geelong region was a nationally recognised region for commercial chicken meat production with a significant number of broiler farms located in the region.

He said domestic consumption of poultry meat had increased from around 31kg per person in 2000 to a projected 47kg per person in 2016.

“The increase is consumption is largely due to growing price of competing meats such as beef and lamb. Chicken meat has maintained its affordable price point,” Mr Manuel said. “The majority of chicken meat produced in Australia is for the domestic market and the demand is resulting in a significant number of new farm developments and strong interest from investors in existing broiler chicken farms.

“Broiler farms are relatively tightly held and tend to be more thinly traded than other agricultural assets. Investor interest is increasing and due to the limited number of assets currently available to purchase, we are seeing yields tighten.

“We are currently marketing four commercial broiler farms and are achieving strong interest from existing producers, private investors and as well as investment managers and we expect this high level of interest to continue for the foreseeable future."

Mr Manuel and Mr Falk have also been appointed to sell the Zahara Broiler Farm, located on the Midland Highway in Meredith, Victoria.

Included in the sale of the 60.05ha property is a modern, state-of-the-art four shed broiler farm with high quality accommodation and improvements.

“This sale presents an excellent opportunity for existing poultry industry participants to expand their holdings as well as investors looking to acquire a quality farming asset in an industry with a reputation for regular and consistent  income and high returns on investment,” Mr Manuel said.

The Zahara Broiler Farm is located around 4km south of the Meredith township, half way between Geelong and Ballarat and only 103km west of the Melbourne CBD via the West Gate and Princes Freeways.

“With its proximity to the amenity of Geelong and Ballarat, the availability of a modern family home of substantial proportions and its high level of presentation, the Meredith Broiler Farm is a quality offering that we highly recommend to prospective purchasers for their consideration,” Mr Falk said.

He said the Zahara Broiler Farm was a well presented commercial broiler farm comprising four grower sheds with a total capacity in excess of 200,000 birds (approx.) based on 21.5 birds per square metre of sheds space.

Mr Manuel and colleague Tim Altschwager have also been appointed to sell two high quality duck farms in Victoria, with expectations of keen investor interest as demand for duck meat also undergoes significant growth.

Mr Manuel and Mr Altschwager have been appointed to sell the ‘Glenlee’ and ‘Netherby’ duck farms, each comprising four grower sheds, accommodation and sundry farm improvements in the districts of Glenlee and Netherby, via Nhill in Victoria’s Wimmera region.

The farms feature supply contracts with Luv-a-Duck, Australia’s largest breeder, grower and processor of ducks.

“Luv-a-Duck is undergoing significant expansion to its operations to meet the demand for its products,” he said. “These farms have been developed and maintained to a high standard, with the modern Netherby farm built between 2012 and 2013 and comprising four conventional style sheds. The Glenlee farm is approximately 10 years old and comprises four climate controlled, tunnel ventilated sheds.”

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