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QIC acquires controlling interest in North Australian Pastoral Company

Australian investment manager, QIC has signed an agreement to acquire an 80 per cent interest in the North Australian Pastoral Company (NAP), one of Australia’s oldest and largest agricultural enterprises.

NAP covers 5.8 million hectares across Queensland and the Northern Territory and approximately 178,000 head of cattle.  

At the conclusion of the transaction, NAP’s largest shareholder, the Foster family will retain an interest in NAP of approximately 20 per cent. Funds advised by QIC including Australian superannuation capital and the UK-based Pension Protection Fund (PPF) will hold approximately 80 per cent having acquired the remainder of the Foster family’s holding and the 34 per cent of NAP currently owned by UK-listed MP Evans.

An offer will be made to other minority shareholders to acquire their shares as part of the transaction, and offer them the opportunity, should they wish, to retain an interest in NAP.

NAP is a vertically integrated beef business with a herd managed across 13 well-located properties in Queensland and the Northern Territory as well as the Wainui feedlot on the Darling Downs. 

It is an industry leader in advanced composite breeding programs and has developed two of its own highly regarded composite breeds. 

Damien Frawley, QIC’s CEO, says: “QIC is very proud to lead this investment in Australian agriculture and to be investing Australian superannuation assets into our beef industry. This landmark deal was made possible by our unique government heritage, and it captures the benefit of our networks of institutional investors and connections to Asian corporate relationships. It’s a natural evolution for our 25 year-old investment platform.”

Marcus Simpson, head of QIC’s NAP transaction team, says: “We believe the Australian food sector is entering a period of exciting development. 

Australia enjoys an enviable reputation for producing clean, healthy food. QIC has a track record of making long-term investments in companies and their people. Our vision for NAP is to see it prosper by capitalising on strong beef demand driven by growth in Asia which is expected to account for 47 per cent of global beef demand by 2024.”  

Simpson says QIC was delighted the Foster family would retain a 20 per cent shareholding in NAP. 

A Foster family representative says: “This is an excellent outcome for the Company. QIC is a logical owner of NAP bringing with it exciting prospects for the future growth of the business. We feel assured that NAP has a bright future, as evidenced by the family’s ongoing investment.” 

Executive Chair of NAP Nigel Alexander, says: “The Foster family and NAP’s management have built an outstanding beef enterprise over many generations, and are justifiably proud of what has been achieved. Under QIC’s stewardship NAP is entering an exciting new phase of its development. I’m very confident QIC has the vision and expertise to build the company into the future.”

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