Investment Banker Williams Buys The Farm, No Bull

Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald

Australian agribusiness’ Mr Everywhere, investment banker David Williams, has splashed out with a big purchase of his own. It is understood the long-time Bega Cheese and Tassal Group adviser has picked up the Fairfield cattle property on Melbourne’s fringe, in a deal worth about $20 million. Fairfield is a 3700 acre farm located 25 kilometres north of the city’s Tullamarine Airport. It was owned by Charles Bright-a well known executive in listed Australian agriculture, and someone Williams would have come across plenty of times in deals over the years. Bright is a former senior executive at Elders, Tassal and Webster, among others.

The farm is now used by David Blackmore, founder of Blackmore Wagyu which makes one of the most premium wagyu products in the world, who runs about 4000 head of cattle on it. Street Talk is not sure what to make of the purchase, other than that it is proof that being “the Bega guy” can be lucrative work. Williams is founder of corporate adviser and investment banking services firm Kidder Williams, which has carved out a niche in the food, agriculture and beverage industries. Williams most recently popped up as adviser to Bega Capilano Honey. Bega snapped up an 11.2 per cent stake in Capilano last month, soon after the company signed an agreed takeover with a private equity suitor.

https://www.afr.com/street-talk/investment-banker-buys-the-farm-no-bull-20181015-h16mzh