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K&L Gates Advises Centuria on the Acquisition of 21ha Katunga Fresh Glasshouse in Victoria

16 May 2024

Global law firm K&L Gates has acted for Centuria Capital Group (ASX: CNI) (Centuria) on its agreement to acquire Katunga Fresh’s 21-hectare glasshouse facility in Katunga, Victoria, in the Goulburn Valley region. The asset will be owned by the unlisted, open-ended Centuria Agriculture Fund (CAF). Settlement of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions precedent and is expected to occur by early July 2024.

The Katunga acquisition will increase CAF's total agriculture assets under management (AUM) to AU$0.65 billion with a total glasshouse portfolio of more than 100 hectares. The facility also includes large packing sheds, energy infrastructure, significant bore water licences and substantial onsite water storage capacity.

The off-market sale-and-leaseback transaction was secured on a 20-year triple net lease deal. Operator, Katunga Fresh, is one of Australia’s largest suppliers of tomatoes, and has operated from this site for 20 years, supplying Australia’s major supermarkets with produce throughout the year, employing advanced lighting technology to produce year-round tomato production.

Jason Huljich, Centuria Joint CEO, said: “The Katunga facility is a high-quality precision farming asset, which aligns perfectly with our investment strategies and is backed by a strong tenant covenant. We aim to continue expanding CAF into one of Australia’s largest, sector specific agriculture funds providing Centuria investors with access to high quality real estate opportunities, which in our view are critical Australian food bowl infrastructure assets.”

The K&L Gates team that advised Centuria was led by Sydney based Corporate partner Naomi Philp with support from senior associate Renee Xue and lawyer Emily Hood.

Andrew Essey, Chief Investment Office said of Philp and the K&L Gates team: Naomi and the K&L Gates team performed exceptionally well on the acquisition of the Katunga Fresh glasshouse, working tirelessly and diligently to ensure all elements of the deal were appropriately addressed. We have enjoyed working with this team over a number of complex and successful transactions, and it’s great to add another to the list."

Philp stated: “We are delighted to have assisted Centuria with this important acquisition as part of the continued growth of the Centuria Agriculture Fund." 

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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