Costa Group buys avocado business

Horticultural company Costa Group has signed an agreement for the acquisition of the Lankester Avocado orchards and packing operations from the Lankester family.

There are total plantings of 130 hectares across the three farms with the season running from February through to June. An additional 60 hectares will be planted over the coming 12 months.

“With the current circa 370 hectares of avocados Costa has in central Queensland and the South Australian Riverland, this acquisition will bring the Company’s total plantings to circa 500 hectares and allow us to continue to build our production scale”, said Harry Debney, CEO Costa Group.

The acquisition agreement has been entered into in conjunction with Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM). Under the agreement, MAFM will purchase the farms and enter into a 20-year lease with Costa to operate them. This is the second acquisition under an arrangement between the two parties (announced in December 2016) to jointly consider M&A projects.

The Lankester family will remain with the business to perform key management and operational roles.

“The Lankester family have been in the Atherton region for many years and they have built their business into one that has a strong market presence with opportunity for future growth, which Costa found to be an attractive proposition when considering our next avocado investment”, said Debney.

The acquisition is expected be completed by the end of July 2017. The acquisition price will not be publicly disclosed at the request of the parties.

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