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Costa Group to buy Lankester Avocado

FBR Staff Writer Published 06 July 2017

Australian horticultural company Costa Group has agreed to acquire Lankester Avocado's orchards and packing operations in Queensland for an undisclosed price.

The avocado business owned by the Lankester family cultivates the fruit in a total of 130 hectares across three farms in the Atherton region of Far North Queensland.

The acquisition would increase Costa's avocados cultivation from 370 hectares to 500 hectares, enabling it to consolidate its production scale.

Apart from growing avocados from February through to June, Lankester also handles packing and marketing related-work for third party growers.

Costa Group CEO Harry Debney said: “This strategic acquisition is another step in executing our strategy to build avocados into our fifth vertically integrated core produce pillar.  

“Our production and supply period will now span from February to August, bringing us closer to achieving 52 week supply and our ultimate goal to be the number one grower, packer and marketer of avocados.”

The current owners of the farms, the Lankester family will continue to be associated with the business taking up important management and operational roles.

According to the Costa Group, the Lankester acquisition is likely to be closed by July end.

The acquisition was made in conjunction with Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM) which would buy the three farms besides agreeing to a lease of 20 years. Costa Group with handle the operations of the farms.

It marks the second acquisition made by the Costa group under its arrangement with MAFM. The first one was the acquisition of Avocado Ridge orchards and packing operations in Queensland made in December last year with MAFM to buy the farms and let Costa Group operate them for a 20-year lease period.

Image: Costa to buy avocado orchards from Lankester Avocado. Photo: courtesy of Nikodem Nijaki and Commons.wikimedia.org.