Montague enters partnership with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and its subsidiary Pomona Valley
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) and its Australian agriculture subsidiary AustOn Corporation (AustOn) have announced a new strategic partnership with leading Australian grower-packer-marketer Montague.
As part of this partnership, Pomona Valley, a subsidiary of Ontario Teachers’, will acquire a majority equity interest in Montague, with Scott Montague retaining an ownership stake in the business. Pomona Valley and Montague will merge to form one business with Scott taking on the role of general manager of the merged operations.
Scott Montague, managing director of Montague, said the partnership would create new opportunities.
“The partnership with AustOn and the merger with Pomona Valley signals the next exciting stage in the growth of Montague. The financial backing of a global investor in agriculture opens a range of possibilities that both businesses have been keen to explore,” said Montague.
“The merger of the two businesses will cement the combined operation as a preferred supplier to domestic and international customers well into the future.”
Christopher Metrakos, senior managing director, natural resources at Ontario Teachers’ said the organisation was committed to the long-term sustainable growth of Pomona Valley and Montague as they embark on the next phase as a merged business.
“Montague is at the forefront of the fresh produce industry in Australia, and we are excited to partner with Scott and the Montague team to continue providing innovative, sustainable, and quality produce for consumers globally,” said Metrakos.
“Ontario Teachers’ and AustOn have a proven track record in investing in the farming sector both in Australia and worldwide, and we are focused on using this experience to deliver long-term, sustainable growth of Pomona Valley and Montague as a merged business.”
Pomona Valley grows and packs significant volumes of pomefruit and stonefruit in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley. The orchards are the product of 140 years of fruit-growing legacy in the region.
With more than 70 years of operations and proud family history, Montague is a vertically integrated category leader across apples, supplying high-quality fresh produce to major supermarkets and wholesalers nationally; and into the export market.
AustOn is the Australian agriculture arm of Ontario Teachers’ and has operated in Australia since 2018. AustOn manages teams across various farms, namely Aroona Farms, which produces almonds in South Australia and Victoria, Jasper Farms, which produces avocados in Western Australia, Pomona Valley, which produces apples and stonefruit in Victoria, and Mitolo Family Farms, which produces potatoes and onions in Australia.
Completion of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to occur in first half of 2024.