Blue Harvest doubles investment in Danish farmland
by Clare Pennington on 15 JULY 2016 in Deals, News & Analysis
Blue Harvest, a wealth management firm, has bought six properties for €5.2 million, doubling the amount of farmland under its investment mandate.
“The six investments are a group of farms and farmland completed at the same time … located on four locations in western Denmark,” chief executive Jens Ohnemus told Agri Investor. The price translates to €5,800 per acre excluding buildings.
Blue Harvest now has twelve investments. The previous one closed in April with investors consisting mostly of UK and Irish high net worth individuals, as Agri Investor reported. Backers for the latest investments are Swiss and UK private investors, Ohnemus said.
Its new farms, which have a mix of corn, wheat, oat and barley fields, as well as the capacity to hold calves, bring Blue Harvest’s total number of acres to 1,400. The firm now also has a capacity to support around 9,000 hogs and 2,000 calves.
The firm says that agricultural land in Denmark is currently trading at historically attractive levels, boosting return potential.
“With the stable currency … pegged to the euro, our farmland investments could also benefit from a free hedge should the euro weaken”, said Ohnemus.
“We can imagine that investors could take advantage of any collapse in the euro by rushing into a safe-haven currency, just like when the Swiss franc appreciated against the euro and other currencies,” Ohnemus told Agri Investor in April.
He also said that his firm would begin targeting organic farming to capture premium prices: “All our investments are sustainable but not organic. However, we are considering developing the recently purchased farm into an organic project within the next couple of years.” He added he saw sustainable farming as a way of de-risking: “Sustainable farming is not only about the environment, it is also a way of de-risking the project. A lot of these sustainability investments are also subsidised by the government and other sources.”
Blue Harvest launched its agriculture investment strategy about four years ago.