AUSTRALIA – Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and its Australian agriculture subsidiary, AustOn Corporation (AustOn), have proudly announced a strategic partnership with Montague, a third-generation family-owned fresh produce business securing majority stake in Montague.
As part of this partnership, Pomona Valley, a subsidiary of Ontario Teachers’, will acquire a majority equity interest in Montague.
This merger between Pomona Valley and Montague, overseen by Scott Montague, will unify their operations, empowering Scott to assume the role of General Manager in the newly amalgamated entity.
Pomona Valley, renowned for cultivating and packaging substantial volumes of pome and stone fruits in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, holds a rich legacy of 140 years in fruit-growing expertise within the region.
Montague, a leader in Australia’s fresh produce industry for over 70 years, operates as a vertically integrated grower, packer, and marketer of fruit.
With a proud family heritage, Montague dominates the apple category, supplying high-quality produce to major national supermarkets, wholesalers, and international markets.
AustOn, the Australian agriculture arm of Ontario Teachers’, has been active in Australia since 2018, managing diversified farms across various regions.
These include Aroona Farms (almond production in South Australia and Victoria), Jasper Farms (avocado production in Western Australia), Pomona Valley (apples and stone fruit in Victoria), and Mitolo Family Farms (potatoes and onions in Australia).
Ontario Teachers’ commitment to the sustainable growth of Pomona Valley and Montague underpins their vision for the merged business’ long-term success.
Scott Montague, Managing Director of Montague, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership: “The collaboration with AustOn and the merger with Pomona Valley marks an exciting chapter in Montague’s growth.
“The financial support from a global agricultural investor opens doors to a multitude of possibilities, aligning with our shared business objectives.”
He added, “The merger solidifies our position as a premier supplier, both domestically and internationally, securing our market presence well into the future.”
Christopher Metrakos, Senior Managing Director of Natural Resources at Ontario Teachers’, echoed Scott’s sentiments: “Montague stands as a trailblazer in Australia’s fresh produce industry, and we are thrilled to partner with Scott and the Montague team to continue delivering innovative, sustainable, and superior-quality produce to global consumers.”
Ontario Teachers’ and AustOn’s extensive experience in agricultural investments, both in Australia and globally, reinforces their commitment to fostering the sustainable growth of the merged entity, Pomona Valley and Montague.
The transaction’s completion, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is anticipated in the first half of 2024.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) is a global investor managing net assets of USD 249.8 billion as of June 30, 2023.
Operating across 50 countries, Ontario Teachers’ invests across diverse assets, aiming to secure retirement income for 336,000 working members and pensioners.
With a team of over 400 investment professionals in various global offices, Ontario Teachers’ not only invests for returns but also for shaping a better future for the teachers, businesses, and the world.
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