COUNT ME IN! Swedish investor snaps up historic property for $20m

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The Standard | 28 January 2010

By Peter Collins

"Mount Elephant covers 3310 hectares off Chatsworth Road and is watered by permanent springs and 30 dams." (Photo : MountElephant.com)
ANOTHER international investor has put Derrinallum on the map by buying the prestigious Mount Elephant station for more than $20 million from the Baillieu family.

The purchase by Swedish Count Carl Gustav Wachmeister is the largest rural property sale in Victoria since mid-2008.

It follows the sale of nearby Pircarra, which was bought for more than $10 million just over a year ago by the US-based Westchester Group which also bought Glenfine station near Skipton for close to $20 million in 2008.

According to Elders real estate manager for Mortlake and Camperdown region, Rob Rickard, an increasing number of international and national corporate investors are interested in the Western District.

“Derrinallum is a good, versatile rural district with reliable rainfall and is only two hours from Melbourne,” he said yesterday.

“It’s a walk-in, walk-out arrangement where the same staff and livestock will be kept on.”

Mr Rickard described the Mount Elephant station as a showcase property and rated it as one of the best presented farms in Australia.

Anthony Baillieu put it on the market in 2008 then later withdrew it before the Swedish count’s representatives in Australia contacted Elders last year looking for quality rural investments.

Mount Elephant covers 3310 hectares off Chatsworth Road and is watered by permanent springs and 30 dams.

It features a five-bedroom, four-bathroom homestead built by Mr Baillieu and his wife Sybil in the late 1980s.

Its history as a farming property stretches back to Victoria’s squatter days and was purchased in the 1850s as a 15,700ha holding by notable pastoralist Andrew Chirnside, who owned a string of Western District properties along with his brother Thomas.

Elders national manager Shane McIntyre said the past six months had been one of the most vibrant periods for large-scale rural property sales across the nation in more than a decade.

“There’s been a mixture of national and international individuals and corporate investors seeking high-value, flexible, reliable rural properties,” he said.

Original source: The Standard
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