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Canadian PSP buys into Australian Olam almond orchards and water rights

Canada's big spending Public Sector Pension Investment Board has bought into another Australian nut orchard venture, also paying $490 million for 89,085 megalitres of high security water in the lower Murray Darling Basin.

PSP Investments, one of Canada's largest pension investment managers, has bought the water from almond grower and processor Olam International, plus 12,000 hectares of Victorian almond orchards currently leased by Olam Orchards Australia.

The orchards and associated permanent water rights will continue to be leased by Olam for 25 years as part of a new, tiered revenue sharing arrangement with PSP. The almond plantations were originally developed by Timbercorp in northern Victoria, but have been sold to PSP by Swiss-based private equity group, Schroder Adveq.

Last year, Adveq listed 20,000ha of almond trees and related assets managed by Olam for sale in the Robinvale area.

No details have been released about the price PSP paid for the land. Olam will pay PSP a share of revenue from the almond crop as part of its new arrangement, which includes an option to renew the lease and revenue sharing deal until 2069.


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