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Wine Industry Insight
Agricultural property REIT Farmland Partners Inc, (NYSE:FPI), has dipped a toe into the California market with its recent acquisition of American Farmland Company (formerly AMEX:AFCO). The stock-for-stock merger, which was announced in September 2016 finally closed on Feb. 2. The combined company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
Following the merger, FPI becomes the largest public U.S. agricultural land REIT. The second-largest (and only other) agland REIT is Gladstone Land (NASDAQ: LAND) with FY2016 assets of¬† $229,738,247 and 16,810 gross acres in 43 farms.
According to FPI, the combined company has a market capitalization of approximately $400 million, assets of more than $850 million,¬† and “owns or has under contract over 144,000 acres in more than 290 properties located in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska,¬† North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Specialty crops and associated properties in California — vineyards and wineries in particular — have not proven to be kind to public REITS (After Losing $130 Mil, Entertainment Properties Trust Exits Wine Biz, CEO Exits Company). Sticking to the purely agriculture side of a diversified asset base seems to have been a better strategy for FPI and its merger partner.
The map graphic, above, shows that all of the properties in California were acquired from AFCO.
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The 13 California properties include 3 vineyards. Those vineyards represent approximately 11 percent of total California tillable acreage.
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