By Jonathan Chancellor
The Middle Eastern company Hassad Foods, through Australian representatives, has been pinpointed as set to spend $45 million on five large western Victorian properties, according to Stock & Land.
It follows the Qatar-based company’s previously announced plans to invest US$500 million in real estate across the world to supply the equivalent of 35% to 40% of its annual sheep, meat and grain requirements. The company plans to spend US$350 million in Australia.
Hassad is an arm of the government-owned Qatar Investment Authority, and its Australian representative, Bydand Pastoral Company, offered no comment on the mooted purchase. Bydand is the manager and operator of agricultural farming assets in Australia on behalf of third-party investors.
Stock & Land suggest the five western Victorian properties expected to be sold to Hassad Foods include the 1,310-hectare Watgania, the 1,500-hectare Merrimbula, the 2,826-hectare Barton Station near Willaura, the 1,610-hectare Brierly property and The Morass, a 1,050-hectare block near Dunkeld.
Hassad Foods, through BPC, paid about $25 million for the 2,630-hectare Strathdownie property Kaladbro Estate last year, and bought the 125,300-hectare Clover Downs, south-east of Cunnamulla in Queensland, for $18.5 million.
Hassad has also bought more than $20 million worth of properties in central west New South Wales. This included 6,800 hectares in the Canowrindra district, including Jindara, bringing its Australian holdings up to an estimated 135,000 hectares.
In 2010, Hassad Foods said it was aiming to turn off 150,000 sheep within three years from its Australian operations.