July 9, 2018 / 1:59 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Receivers seek buyers for Australian retailer Harvey Norman's dairy farm

* Electronics giant entered JV in 2015

* Venture never made a profit, drew writedowns in 2018

* Minimal impact on Harvey Norman profits, says chairman (Adds quotes, shares, Gerry Harvey reax)

SYDNEY, July 9 (Reuters) - A dairy farm part-owned by Australia’s biggest electronics chain Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd has been put on the market three years after it bought into it, the real estate agency running the intended sale said on Monday.

The agency, Elders Real Estate, said it was calling for expressions of interest for Coomboona Dairies, which has 2,500 cows and produces more than 30 million litres of milk a year. They did not name a price.

Harvey Norman, controlled by billionaire retail veteran Gerry Harvey, and its joint venture partner hired receivers for the dairy farm in March, a month after writedowns on the property contributed to a decline in the retailer’s group net profit for the six months to Dec. 31.

The farm had a supply contract in place with an unnamed Australian milk company and could attract significant interest given strong global appetite for Australian dairy product, Elders said.

“This opportunity is being presented to the market in the context of a sector that is experiencing renewed optimism amidst ongoing growth in global demand for safely sourced dairy produce,” agent Nick Myer said.

Harvey Norman Executive Chairman and one-sixth owner Gerry Harvey told Reuters the impact on the company’s profit following the sale would be minimal.

Harvey Norman shares were up 0.3 percent in morning trading, in line with the broader Australian market.

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates

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