Limoneira Company has announced the closing of the sale of its Northern Properties to PGIM Agricultural Investments, a business unit of PGIM Real Estate Finance, LLC.
The property consists of 3,537 acres in Tulare County, CA, comprised of a total of 2,700 planted acres, 231 acres of plantable ground and 606 acres of open space. The Company received approximately $99 million in net cash proceeds. As part of the transaction, Limoneira and PAI entered into a Farm Management Agreement for Limoneira to provide farming services related to the property for an initial term of one year. Additionally, Limoneira and PAI entered into a Grower Packing & Marketing Agreement for Limoneira to provide packing, marketing and selling services for lemons harvested on the property for a minimum five-year period.
This transaction aligns with the Company’s Strategic Plan as established by its Board of Directors at the beginning of 2022. Within the next 12 to 18 months, the Company expects to further realize the following goals of its Strategic Plan:
- Transition One World of Citrus™ to an “asset light” model
- Streamline operations and sell non-strategic assets
- Improve consistency of earnings
- Increase EBITDA and Dividend Per Share
- Reduce debt and right-size the balance sheet
- Improve Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)
Harold Edwards, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We expect the $100 million Northern Properties transaction will be accretive to EBITDA and earnings on a pro forma basis. In addition, it is a great example of the planned expansion of our asset-light supply chain as we pivot towards being a service provider as a farm manager and packer, marketer and seller of the lemons harvested from these properties. The proceeds from the sale will significantly reduce our overall debt and allow us greater flexibility to consider a broad range of strategic opportunities and then selectively pursue those that will maximize value for our stockholders.”
Mr. Edwards: “During the past three months, we have sold approximately $130 million of the $150 million of non-strategic assets identified for sale and are exceeding our internal timeline and valuation projections. Moving forward, we will continue to advance our asset-light model as we focus on the best use of our valuable portfolio of agricultural lands, real estate properties and water rights, along with utilizing our expertise in packing, marketing and distributing to increase our grower partners.”
“Lastly, as previously mentioned on our fourth quarter 2022 earnings call, we still expect to receive $115 million over seven fiscal years from Harvest at Limoneira and the addition of the Harvest Medical Pavilion with proceeds of $8 million received in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022. Over the next 12 to 18 months, we expect to achieve the goals set out in our Strategic Plan, to include streamlining operations, improving consistency of earnings, and increasing EBITDA and dividend per share.”
For more information: limoneira.com