Australian fund advised by US commodities trader Jim Rogers buys 11% of rural property owner PrimeAg

The mystery investor in rural property owner and manager PrimeAg has been identified as Australian-based Laguna Bay Pastoral Company, advised by US commodities trader Jim Rogers.

Laguna is the trustee of the Laguna Bay Pastoral Company Crop Fund no 8, which has acquired an 11% stake in PrimeAg, which is up for sale and seeking to delist from the ASX.

Earlier reports had suggested the mystery buyer had acquired 8% of PrimeAg. The 11% stake was acquired at the previously reported $1.30 a share.

Laguna is run by joint managing directors Tim McGavin and Tim Biggs.

McGavin told the Australian Financial Review in November it had been created to “unlock the value of Australia’s best farmers”.

The investment in PrimeAg is expected to kick start its investment in Australian farms.

It aims to raise up to $350 million to buy farms in northern NSW and has already identified 16 properties for acquisition covering 80,000 hectares.

Laguna is based in Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast and backed by the Global Endowment Fund based in Charlotte North Carolina.

It was launched in November last year when Rogers visited Australia and forecast a soft commodities and rural land boom

“It’s the farmers, the producers who are going to be in the captain’s seat when the prices go through the roof,” Rogers said at the time of launch of the fund.

He is predicting a rise in prices for Australian soft commodities due its proximity to Asia.

Rogers founded the Quantum Fund with legendary US investor George Soros.

While Laguna is not pushing for a seat on the PrimeAg board, the AFR’s Street Talk column speculated that the fund could push to be the “leading contender to operate PrimeAg if and when it de-lists”.

The fund’s advisory committee includes Rogers as well as UniSuper Investment Committee chairman Mervyn Peacock, executive chairman of Caledonia Investments Mark Nelson, Harvard University professor Jonathan West and former federal minister for defence John Moore.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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