The Otway Plantation Portfolio — comprising 24 properties encompassing more than 2,600 hectares in Victoria’s south west — has hit the market.
Located throughout the Colac Otway region — Victoria’s premium dairy district — the expansive portfolio is being offered for sale in one line or as individual properties, with a sale and leaseback structure in place until harvest of the standing timber occurs.
The properties are being offered with up to eight-year leases, with harvest expected to take place between 2019 and 2024. The properties will be progressively handed back post-harvest.
New Forests Asset Management has appointed CBRE Agribusiness to sell the portfolio via an Expression of Interest campaign.
CBRE’s Peter Ryan said the sites represented an outstanding opportunity to gain a footprint in one of Australia’s leading agricultural regions.
“These sites are ideally located to benefit from continued plantation management — being within striking distance of export ports at Geelong and Portland, and close to processing facilities at Colac, Geelong and Portland,” Mr Ryan said.
“Alternatively, as the properties receive over 1000mm rainfall annually, there is also opportunity to replant post-harvest to various forestry species or for conversion to a range of high-value agricultural and lifestyle pursuits.”
Mr Ryan said the high quality properties had already generated exceptional interest from forestry companies, corporate investors, individual investors and local farmers seeking to expand.
New Forests Asset Management’s decision to market the Otway Portfolio follows the recent successful sale of its Gippsland portfolio — comprising 20 properties totalling more than 2,200 hectares — on lease-back terms.
The portfolio was purchased by a forestry company, in conjunction with private investors, which plans to re-establish the properties with high value Australian hardwoods following harvest of the standing tree crop.
Mr Ryan said the Gippsland sale highlighted strengthening investor interest in Australia’s timber industry, with the lower Australian dollar value bringing a more competitive position for Australian forest products.