Tana joins battle for Market City

Peter KlingerThe West Australian
Market City in Canning Vale
Camera IconMarket City in Canning Vale Credit: The West Australian

One of Australia’s biggest vegetable growers, Nick Tana, has joined the battle for ownership of WA’s dominant wholesale produce markets.

Mr Tana has agreed to join the board of Perth Markets Ltd, the proposed bid vehicle of the Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries WA for the State Government-owned Market City operation in Canning Vale.

He becomes the second high-profile board member for Perth Markets, which is to be chaired by former State Liberal leader Paul Omodei.

It is understood Mr Tana, one of WA’s richest people with an estimated wealth of at least $250 million, does not intend to bankroll the consortium but is more interested in pushing the interests of growers in a Market City bid battle dominated by property developers. “As a major vegetable producer and exporter, I strongly believe that industry ownership of this asset represents the best outcome,” Mr Tana said in a statement.

“As a senior and long-standing member of the industry in WA, I was keen to offer my assistance and experience in this effort.”

Mr Tana, through his main vehicle Sumich Group, produces more than 140,000 tonnes of vegetables a year across farms in WA and Tasmania. Much of his produce is sold directly to customers or exported though he also supplies wholesalers at Market City.

CFVIWA and its adviser Azure Capital are finalising the structure and board line-up of Perth Markets ahead of submitting a final bid for the Canning Vale asset, which sits on a 51ha site.

It is thought final bids are due within the next month.

The State Government hopes to announce the successful bidder before Christmas and industry speculation is bids could be worth up to $150 million.

CFVIWA is one of five short-listed bidders. The others are DEXUS Funds Management, Stockland Trust Management, Propertylink and Australian Capital Equity, the private investment vehicle of Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails