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Sunday 22 July 2018

Electronic retail giant Harvey Norman to sell its dairy farm

Harvey Norman is controlled by billionaire retail veteran Gerry Harvey and the farm was a joint venture. Photo: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg News.
Harvey Norman is controlled by billionaire retail veteran Gerry Harvey and the farm was a joint venture. Photo: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg News.

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 has said.

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 30m 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 December 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 0.3pc in morning trading, in line with the broader Australian market.

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