Hassad Australia – owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority – has struck a deal to sell Telopea Downs in what is expected to be the largest single farm transaction in Victorian history.
The deal to sell Hassad’s biggest farm in Australia, the 47,677ha Telopea Downs Station at Telopea in western Victoria, is set to fetch well over $70 million and while details of the buyer have not been revealed, names including the McBride family have mentioned as the likely buyer.
Telopea Downs was one of the last properties Hassad Australia purchased in 2012 to complete a buying spree that secured 250,000 hectares of farmland across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.
Hassad purchased the majority of Telopea Downs for more than $35 million and has since added other land parcels. The deal of this magnitude would surpass other major farm deals including Glenfine Station, which TIAA’s Westchester bought, and the Count Carl Gustav Wachtmeister purchase of the prized Mt Elephant station for more than $20 million.
Hassad has been selling farms off in the last 12 months, including Kaladbro to the Brinkworth family and more recently Clover Downs to the Zell family for about $27 million.
Late last year it also announced it would sell two grain aggregations, including the Cummins/Ungarra parcel of Tapley and Garra, which jointly span 7106ha on the Eyre Peninsula, as well as the 3263ha Glendale aggregation in the mid-north of the state near Clare. Other sales include the 8560ha Warren-district sheep holding Raby Station, in central-west NSW.
When Hassad originally purchased Telopea Downs many were surprised, given it is traditionally regarded as marginal country by farmers, however Hassad had found the area was actually very reliable.
“It might not be a high rainfall area, but it does have reliable productivity which is attractive to Hassad Australia,” then chief executive Tom McKeon said.
The primary purpose of the property is to act as a sheep breeding hub.