Santa Paula-based Limoneira Co. entered into a series of leases with the Sheldon Ranches, which consists of 1,000 acres of agricultural property in the San Joaquin Valley.
With the leases, Limoneira, an agribusiness that owns farm land and water rights throughout California and produces lemons, avocados, oranges and other crops, will take over operations of about 800 acres of citrus and 200 acres of other crops. The company announced the deal Jan. 11.
The terms of the leases began on Jan. 1, according to a news release. They’re set for 10 years, with options to extend each term for four consecutive five-year terms and provisions for Limoneira to potentially purchase the property in the future. Lease terms include base rent and participation in operating profits of the property.
Because of the timing of growing and harvesting seasons, Limoneira will not share in the citrus crop revenue for the 2012 fiscal year. From 2013 on, the agribusiness will share in the citrus profits on a per-acre basis.
“These leases represent an important component of our global growth strategy to acquire productive agriculture acreage and leverage our expertise and existing infrastructure to drive our top line growth and increase our profitability,” Alex Teague, Senior Vice President of Limoneira, said in the release. “Quality citrus acreage such as the Sheldon properties will be an important addition to our portfolio and will greatly enhance our continued expansion strategy.”
Limoneira was founded 119 years ago and has grown to become one of the biggest integrated agribusinesses in the world. The company operates about 6,850 acres of agricultural land, real estate property and water facilities around California.