Australian horticultural company Costa Group has signed a conditional agreement for the acquisition of Nangiloc Colignan Farm (NCF) operations.

Located in the greater Sunraysia district of North West Victoria, NCF is engaged in growing citrus and grapes across 567ha of land.

Costa Group CEO Harry Debney said: “This acquisition and location in the Sunraysia region will reduce reliance on any one region in our portfolio and will also open up additional growth opportunities.

“In particular, with respect to Afourer mandarins and navel oranges, this will allow us to further take advantage of export market demand.”

Transaction agreements have been entered in conjunction with a subsidiary of CK Life Sciences, which will enter a 20-year lease of the farm to Costa.

“Costa is trialling several new mandarins, orange and lemon varieties on commercial-sized blocks that have market potential with improved attributes.”

NCF also has plantings of proprietary table grape varieties. The on-farm infrastructure includes an operating shed, cool rooms, machinery sheds and workshops.

Debney further added: “Over recent years Costa has embarked upon both greenfield growth and M&A activity in the citrus category. This has been fuelled by expanded favourable export markets and free trade agreements with countries including Japan, South Korea and China.

“In order to further capitalise on this, Costa is trialling several new mandarins, orange and lemon varieties on commercial-sized blocks that have market potential with improved attributes including, seedless, high brix (sugar), red flesh and different maturity timing.”

With the acquisition of NCF, Costa has expanded its total plantings in the Riverland and Sunraysia regions to 2,996ha.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed by both the companies. The deal is expected to be completed later this year.