INTEREST in buying one of the countries largest R2E2 mango export operations is likely to come from Asia given it's booming mango markets, owner Jonathon Freeman believes.
Late last month Mr Freeman put an aggregation of his three Jayfresh Australia Bowen mango farms, making up a 155 hectare footprint, on the market.
He's hoping they'll attract an offer between $6.5-$7.5m, depending on the interest generated and whether or not equipment is included.
While Mr Freeman has owned the properties for 12 years, he was originally introduced through his purchasing mangoes from them for export.
The decision to purchase was fuelled by the high-quality produce they delivered, allowing him to tap into the lucrative premium mango markets in Europe.
"That's really how I cut my teeth,” Mr Freeman said.
But over the last decade, and as with many other commodities, he said the Asian markets- particularly from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea- have grown in structure to the point where they are now stronger than the European markets.
The US was also emerging as another lucrative export opportunity, after an export protocol was signed off on early last year.
However Mr Freeman said at the moment, only a tiny amount of fruit was being sent there, and believed investor interest in his farms was more likely to come from the "firing” Asian markets.
The fact the aggregation was well-suited to expansion may also interest local growers, he said.
"Getting investor interest out of those (Asian) regions into agribusiness in Australia is certainly pretty lucrative at the moment,” he said.
"There could be locals wanting to expand and jump onto that bandwagon because there's a future or it could be investors coming out of Asia. We'll just have to wait and see.”
He said his decision to sell was motivated by the bolstered efficiency of the farms, stating it's "always best to test a market when you're sort of at your peak”.
The properties include: Delta - a 4.026 hectare holding featuring 620 R2E2 mango trees with extensive fresh packing and shedding infrastructure in the prime logistics hub of Bowen; Euri Creek - a 55.75 hectare property featuring 8,000 R2E2 mango trees with accompanying shedding and a residence; and Beaumont Organic Farm - a 96 hectare property featuring 5,000 Kensington Pride mango trees with additional land suitable for additional mango plantings or other horticultural pursuits.
Beaumont also boasts an integrated mango processing factory on site, able to produce dried and frozen mango cheeks and pasteurised puree and juice.
The sale is being handled by CBRE Agribusiness.
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