TPG seeking $590 mln for Australia's Ingham property sale

SYDNEY, March 10 Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:54am EDT

SYDNEY, March 10 (Reuters) - Private equity giant TPG plans to sell 56 farm properties of Australia's largest poultry firm, Ingham Enterprises, for up to A$650 million ($590 million), a property agent responsible for the sale told Reuters.

The sale comes a year after TPG bought most of Ingham for A$880 million, according to local media. It also signals TPG's preference to exit assets without public listings despite improved market conditions.

"We've got all the largest pension funds and sovereign funds in the world expressing interest," said CBRE agribusiness director Danny Thomas, who is running the sale.

The deal would be structured as a 20-year leaseback of two portfolios of processing plants, feedmills, hatcheries and breeder farms.

TPG's purchase of Ingham Enterprises last March ended the Ingham family's control of the company that started as a farm in Sydney's outskirts in 1918.

Thomas said he met potential buyers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and "significantly more than 10" funds were interested in the assets.

Australian food manufacturers have been highly sought after by private equity firms and other Asian buyers in the past two years due to resilient sales and solid cash flows.

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