Nuveen adds Moree farms to $3.5b global agriculture fund

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Wallam and Roydon Moree/Croppa Creek property bought buy TIAA's Nuveen
Australia Financial Review | 10 November 2019

Nuveen adds Moree farms to $3.5b global agriculture fund
 
by Larry Schlesinger
 
Chicago-based investment giant Nuveen has quietly snapped up almost 4000 hectares of dryland cropping farmland near Moree in northern NSW for its global agriculture fund.
 
Records show Nuveen, a subsidiary of American teachers' pension fund TIAA, acquired Roger and Annette Turnbull's Wallam and Roydon properties for a combined $28.4 million.
 
Nuveen has $1.5 trillion of assets under management globally, and more than $4 billion invested in Australia. Nine
 
Wallam, which covers over 2700 hectares at 283 Croppa Moree Road, sold for $19.88 million while Roydon, comprising almost 1200 hectares at 578 Roydon Road, sold for $8.52 million.
 
Both are situated on the eastern side of the Newell Highway in a region dubbed the Golden Triangle because of its ability to produce high-yielding dryland cotton, sorghum, chickpeas, wheat and barley.
 
They were put up for sale in May by CBRE's Simon Cudmore and Col Medway with an asking price of $7413 per hectare.
 
The buyer is listed as Global Ag Properties 2 Australia and the ultimate holding company as TIAA-CREF Global Agriculture.
 
A local spokeswoman for Nuveen declined to comment on its latest acquisitions in Moree.
 
The vendors are part of a well-known local wheat-farming dynasty.
 
In 2016 the Turnbull family became the focus of national media attention when Ian Turnbull, Roger Turnbull's father, was convicted of murdering environment officer Glen Turner in 2014. He died in jail in 2017.
 
The buyer will relocate his merino operation to Emrose, where water supply is more reliable
 
The acquisition of the Turnbull properties takes Nuveen's spending on northern NSW cropping country to almost $50 million in the last 12 months.
 
In March, it paid $8.6 million for 2731 hectares at Burren Junction, west of Wee Waa, while in November last year it bought another property at Burren Junction covering 2284 hectares for $9.5 million.
 
As of 2017, Nuveen had about $4 billion of assets under management in Australia across 22 different categories including 283,000 hectares of farmland as well as commercial real estate, infrastructure, equity, debt and private debt.
 
Its farmland assets are managed by Westchester, which has $US8.2 billion ($11.9 billion) of farmland under management, comprising more than 800,000 hectares.
 
In October Nuveen launched an open-ended global agricultural fund targeting $US2.4 billion.
 
It focuses on investing in existing farmland for row-cropping and permanent crops and takes a long-term position on assets.
 
In 2017, Nuveen parent TIAA (then called TIAA-CREF) acquired 10 properties across NSW and Victoria with a combined area of 16,000 hectares from the Sustainable Agriculture Fund for about $110 million. The acquisition was by TIAA-CREF Global Ag Properties.
 
In total, Nuveen/TIAA has more than $US1 trillion of assets under management.
Original source: AFR
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