Terra Firma Buys Australian Beef Producer

(Reuters) – Terra Firma, the British private equity firm controlled by Guy Hands, said it has bought Australia’s second-largest beef producer from gaming tycoon James Packer.

Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) has more than 300,000 cattle and more than 5 million hectares of land, with holdings in Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.

“The long-term demand for beef and the competitiveness of CPC makes this an exciting investment opportunity for Terra Firma,” Hands said in a statement.

A spokesman for Terra Firma in London declined to comment on the value or the deal financing.

The Financial Times had said the deal was valued at around 425 million Australian dollars ($278 million) and partly-debt financed by Rabobank [RABO.UL].

Packer, the son of the late media tycoon Kerry Packer, owns stakes in gaming group Crown Ltd (CWN.AX) and Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd (CMJ.AX).

He fell to 261st place in this year’s Forbes billionaires’ list, with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, from 173rd place with an estimated net worth of $5.7 billion last year.

Terra Firma bought the Packer family’s 90 percent stake in the business, while the rest will stay in the hands of Chief Executive Ken Warriner.

(Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by Greg Mahlich) ($1=1.531 australian dollars)