Australia's largest berry farm part of $300 million sale
DESPITE Costa family farms being put on the market it will be business as usual for the Corindi Berry Farm.
The family owned berry farms here on the Mid North Coast as well as properties in Tasmania and South Australia were put on the market last week.
Corindi Berry Farm along with the berry farms in Tasmania and citrus plantation in SA's Riverland are leased on the ASX-listed Costa Group.
Costa Group corporate affairs manager Michael Toby said the portfolio of farms under the group were under long-term leases so nothing would change.
Mr Toby said the Corindi Berry Farm was the biggest berry-growing operation within the group.
Costa Group also leases blueberry farms in Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Queensland to ensure year round supply.
Mr Toby said there were well over 1500 staff hired at the Corindi Berry Farm during the peak berry season between July and December.
"(Corindi Berry Farm) continues to be our biggest berry operation,” Mr Toby said.
Agricultural corporate advisor Kidder Williams Limited is looking after the sale of the farms.
Kidder Williams managing director David Williams said he expected the sale to be in the order of $300 million.
He said properties would not be sold individually but as a group.
Mr Williams said there had been strong interest from both foreign and domestic buyers, with Australian horticultural products fetching good prices on the market.
"The blueberry and raspberry markets are growing,” he said.
Mr Williams said potential buyers would be looking to expand what is already some of the country's biggest fruit growing operations.
He said the sale of the farms was a business change driven by family circumstances.
Head of the fruit and veg company Frank Costa was reported to be worth $538m in the Financial Review's 2017 Rich List.
- Costa Group floated onto the ASX at $2.25 a share in July 2015
- Share prices opened at $4.98 on Wednesday
- Costa Asset Management has the largest mass of berry farms in Australia, with more than 400ha of farms in NSW and Tasmania.