Deltroit Station sells to newly formed Australian Pastoral Group

Deltroit Station sells to newly formed Australian Pastoral Group
Deltroit Station sells to newly formed Australian Pastoral Group

The newly formed Australian Pastoral Group, set up by former Macquarie Pastoral Services managing director Alan Hayes, has bought Deltroit Station at Wagga Wagga, for $15.5 million million from the former Lumley Insurance chairman Anthony Crichton-Brown.

The 2,545 hectare station, with a capacity for 30,000 dry sheep, was passed in on a vendor bid at its December 2011 auction at $15 million, at the lower end of its $15 million to $18 million expectations.

While the bush telegraph news of its sale since just before Christmas 2012, the official price has only just become known.

Set east of Wagga Wagga in Mundarlo, midway between Sydney (409 kilometres) and Melbourne (474 kilometres), it comes with a 1903 Federation brick homestead designed by Sydney architect William Nixon along with a stone-built, modernised four-bedroom Cobb and Co. coaching inn, The Junction Hotel.

Deltroit was listed by Anthony Crichton-Brown, a former chairman of Lumley Insurance, who also owns Tooronga in the Riverina and Humula Station near Yass. 

Three generations of the Richardson family developed Deltroit over 100 years, creating a commercial Shorthorn herd and fine wool Merino flock.

In 1963 Robert Kleberg, president of US company King Ranch, who had long coveted the Deltroit Shorthorn that had won worldwide acclaim, purchased Deltroit and its entire herd for internationally renowned King Ranch Group.  With the death of Kleberg, King Ranch sold all its Australian properties, including Deltroit, in the late 1970s.  The property last traded in 1990.

The Australian Financial Review has reported the new pastoral group has four major institutional investors backing it, including the Michigan-based Municipal Employees' Retirement System and a fund based in Switzerland.

Its board includes Washington H Soul Pattinson chairman Robert Millner. Its advisory committee includes the founder of valuation firm Herron Todd White, Kerry Heron, along with cattleman Alister McClymont and lamb producer John Fowler.

The Australian Financial Review reported its first purchase included the 353,000-hectare Neumayer Valley Station in far northern Queensland from ageing farmer Syd Faithful for about $30 million.

Alan Hayes was responsible for identifying, selecting, aggregating and operating properties for the Prudential/Colonial/Commonwealth Bank Pastoral Fund from 1989-2001, and for the Macquarie Pastoral Fund from 2006-2009.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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