South Korean conglomerate to exit Warragundi
by NICK LENAGHAN
Giant South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group is looking to make an exit from the Warragundi aggregation, just over a year after taking control of the largest acreages in NSW’s Mudgee region.
Hanwha, one of South Korea’s oldest corporations, took over the 5800-hectare property fronting the Cudgegong River from its family owners in a $25 million deal in April last year.
That price will help set a benchmark for the potential buyers of the landmark agricultural property. The South Korean company has appointed Elders to broker the sprawling holding after reviewing its Australian exposure.
One of the largest agribusiness enterprises in the region, Warragundi comprises three main holdings, aggregating a series of smaller farms. Together they operate as a single agricultural business supporting large scale cropping, fodder, beef cattle, sheep, wool and prime lambs.
“The Warragundi aggregation presents in magnificent order,” Elders Dubbo agent Richard Gemmell told The Australian Financial Review. “It offers a magnificent opportunity for an investor looking to build out their agricultural portfolio in an area that’s renowned for mixed farming production.”
The property has about 3700 hectares of combined river flats and cultivation country. Some 79 hectares are serviced by three centre pivots with an irrigation water entitlement of 1014 megalitres. There are a further 2020 hectares of open and natural grazing.
That pasture supports breeding herds of Angus cattle and Merino sheep. It has a carrying capacity of 26,000 DSE (dry sheep equivalent). The property is being offered with livestock – 2400 Angus cattle and 2600 sheep – along with plant and machinery.
“It is well set up to capture all those different income streams and there is potential to increase productivity,” Mr Gemmell said.
Hanwa’s global business interests span chemicals and energy, aerospace and mechatronics, finance, construction, and leisure and lifestyle services. Founded as an explosives manufacturer in 1952, the company generated $87 billion revenue last year, with $255 billion in assets.
In Australia, Hanwha’s activities are focused on supplying solar panels to the renewable energy sector as well as mining services.