Canadian pension fund continues to invest in Australian cattle stations

03 Apr 2017

Australian agriculture continues to be an important asset category for Canadian pension funds, as demonstrated by the latest Canadian fund–backed investment by Hewitt Cattle Australia (HCA).

HCA, backed by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), has purchased two properties in the Northern Territory for approximately A$50 million. Located approximately 140 kilometres north of Alice Springs, Ambalindum and Numery stations cover 650,000 hectares of pastoral land and have an estimated carrying capacity of 20,000 head of cattle.

In an interview with HCA’s CEO Mick Hewitt, the Australian Financial Review quotes Mr Hewitt as saying the deal is a ‘transformational transaction’ for the business.

‘This is a multifaceted acquisition that adds a great deal of strategic value for HCA,’ he says. ‘Strategically, this acquisition means we are well-positioned to access multiple markets throughout Australia, including both live export and processing. In particular, we are drawn to the prospects of accessing the burgeoning southern Australian live export trade to China.’

This is not the first time PSP Investments has backed purchases by HCA. In January 2016, the Canadian pension fund backed HCA’s purchase of three cattle stations in Queensland. In 2015, The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board purchased an almond property in the Murray-Murrumbidgee area, and has made other significant investments in the country over the past five years.

PSP Investments has more than C$116.8 billion in assets under management and invests for the pension plans of the Canadian Public Service, Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.