September 17, 2018 / 12:31 PM / in a month

UPDATE 2-Macquarie to buy Australian farms of Qatar's Hassad Food

(Recasts with Macquarie statement)

SYDNEY, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd said it has agreed to buy most of the Australian farm portfolio of Qatar’s Hassad Food IPO-HASS.QA, the agricultural arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

Neither Macquarie nor Qatar’s state-run news agency gave a price for the deal. The Australian Financial Review reported it was worth about A$300 million ($215 million).

Macquarie, in a statement issued on Monday, said the properties comprise more than 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of livestock and cropping land in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, without giving further details.

The farms, which formed the majority of Hassad’s Australian holdings, will be transferred to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and Hassad will invest in a MIRA managed portfolio, Macquarie said.

“The farms are high-quality assets, which will further our strategy of developing large-scale and diversified cropping and livestock production portfolios in Australia,” Elizabeth O’Leary, MIRA Head of Agriculture, said in the statement.

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the month, according to a separate statement on the state-run Qatar News Agency.

$1 = 1.3980 Australian dollars Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Tom Westbrook; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Mark Potter and Richard Pullin

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