Swedes want Aussie farms

Stock & Land | 14 June 2011

THE Swedish National Pension Fund is teaming up with US institutional investor TIAA-CREF to buy farmland in Australia.

TIAA-CREF has already invested in 180,000 hectares of cropping country in Australia through the Westchester Group's $300 million International Agricultural Investors fund, The Australian Financial Review reports.

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) took up a controlling 85 per cent interest in Westchester Group late last year, boosting its agricultural assets to more than $US2 billion ($1.9 billion). It aims to double that over the next three years.

The new joint venture will see the Swedish National Pension Fund's second vehicle, AP2, invest about €177 million ($240.7 million) in the company that will acquire and manage farmland, with a focus on grain production.

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