QIC acquires 80% stake in beefmaker North Australian Pastoral Company

Australian investment manager QIC agreed to acquire an 80 percent interest in the North Australian Pastoral Company, a producer of beef. Sellers were the company’s largest shareholder, the Foster family, and UK-listed MP Evans. The Foster family will retain an interest of approximately 20 percent, while QIC-advised funds including Australian supperannuation capital and the UK-based Pension Protection Fund will hold the remainder. Advising QIC were Deloitte Corporate, PricewaterhouseCoopers and McCullough Robertson.

Press Release

Leading Australian investment manager, QIC today announced it has signed an agreement(s) to acquire an 80 per cent interest in the North Australian Pastoral Company (NAP).

NAP is one of Australia’s oldest and largest agricultural enterprises covering 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.

Commenting on the transaction, Damien Frawley, QIC’s CEO said: “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, said, “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.”

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

A Foster family representative said: “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 said: “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.”

Consistent with his long term intentions, Mr Alexander today also announced his intention to step down from his role after 20 years with NAP, but has agreed to remain in the role until a successor commences.

QIC’s representative on the NAP Board Phil Cummins thanked Mr Alexander for his ongoing contribution to NAP and Australian agriculture and said the company had a strong legacy to build on.

Mr Cummins said: “NAP has exceptional properties, cattle and management and we believe cattle men and women are the best people to run cattle properties. QIC also has significant business development skills to bring to the table. Together we will be a great team. NAP is already one of Australia’s leading cattle businesses and with an ongoing commitment to operational excellence, we believe NAP has the potential to become a significant regional food champion.”

“We are also strongly committed to NAP’s high standards of workplace health and safety, animal welfare and sustainable land management practices,” he said.

QIC were advised by Deloitte Corporate (lead financial adviser), PricewaterhouseCoopers (accounting and tax) and McCullough Robertson (legal).

About North Australian Pastoral Company (NAP)

NAP is a leader in Australia’s cattle industry and one of Australia’s largest beef producers, with a herd of approximately 178,000 cattle. NAP operates thirteen cattle stations across Queensland and the Northern Territory, as well as the Wainui Feedlot on the Darling Downs.

About QIC

QIC is a global diversified alternative investment firm offering infrastructure, real estate, private equity, liquid strategies and multi-asset investments. It is one of the largest institutional investment managers in Australia, with US$60.4 billion (£42.0 billion)1 in funds under management, offering infrastructure, real estate, private equity, liquid strategies and multi-asset investment services. QIC has over 500 employees and serves more than 90 clients including governments, pension plans, sovereign wealth funds and insurers, spanning Australia, Europe, Asia, Middle East and the US. Headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, QIC also has offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Sydney, and Melbourne. For more information, please visit: www.qic.com.

QIC Limited ACN 130 539 123 (“QIC”) is a wholesale funds manager and its products and services are not directly available to retail investors. QIC is a company government owned corporation constituted under the Queensland Investment Corporation Act 1991 (Qld). QIC is regulated by Australian State Government legislation pertaining to government owned corporations in addition to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (“Corporations Act”). QIC does not hold an Australian financial services (“AFS”) licence and certain provisions (including the financial product disclosure provisions) of the Corporations Act do not apply to QIC. Some wholly owned subsidiaries of QIC, including QIC Private Capital Pty Ltd, QIC Investments No 1 Pty Ltd and QIC Infrastructure Management No 2 Pty Ltd, have been issued with an AFS licence and are required to comply with the Corporations Act. QIC also has wholly owned subsidiaries authorised, registered or licensed by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Korean Financial Services Commission.