Sale a vote of confidence in rural property
IN WHAT may be seen as a promising sign of increasing rural confidence a feedlot west of Warwick is poised to change hands, the first such property sale in several years in the region.
Rodgers Creek Feedlot on Greymare Rd is under contract to a buyers' consortium called B-Feeders Pty Ltd, made up of a number of connections to the feedlot industry including the site's original developer Murray Murdoch.
The sale was handled via expressions of interest through Ray White Rural, acting on behalf of receivers appointed to act for former owner the late John Quintana of the Circle Q Cattle Company, who died tragically in an aircraft crash near Roma in late March of this year.
Mr Quintana purchased the feedlot and adjacent farming properties from Wallco Pastoral Company in June 2009 for just under $40 million, with the new buyers not taking up the full holding, but rather the parcel containing the feedlot itself and an adjacent parcel.
While the contract price from this week has not been revealed it is understood to be less than $3m - otherwise known as a bargain - and the sale is expected to settle in early December.
Mr Murdoch sold the full combined holding of 838 hectares to Wallco in June 2006 for $8.1m.
Rodgers Creek Feedlot will be managed from early in the new year by buying partner Ben Maher, who is currently client manager with feedlot operator and beef exporter Mort and Co.
Other members of the consortium include Mr Murdoch's son-in-law and Brisbane-based agribusiness investor Ben Woodhouse and James McLean of Allied Beef.
Mr Maher said while the partners have future plans to do more on the export beef side, it would be "business as usual" for the time being at Rodgers Creek, which has a full capacity of 4000 head of mainly lighter domestic trade cattle in relatively small 80-100 head pens.
"All of us have a lot of experience in the feedlot sector," Mr Maher said.
"The feedlot is a mix of custom-fed privately owned cattle and at this stage we just want to keep the operations moving on as it is.
"When it's a receiver sale you don't really know about everything that's there, it's not like taking over a farm and going from scratch.
"We think it's a good location and a good buy.
"There is no real opportunity to expand in terms of numbers, but there may be more we can do with export into the future."
Rodgers Creek Feedlot is about 25km west of Warwick and has the capacity to turn over around 20,000 head of finished cattle per year.
The infrastructure includes a large commodities shed, modern concrete feed bunks and aprons, large machinery shed and workshop, 500 tonnes of grain storage, supplement tanks, cement silage pits, a feedmill, good cattle handling and loading facilities, and an office and residence.