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Saturday 24 June 2017

Bidding on Australian farms the size of South Korea up to €270m

Founded more than 100 years ago, Kidman has an average beef herd carrying capacity of 185,000 cattle and pastoral leases covering 101,000 sq km. Pic: Getty Images.
Founded more than 100 years ago, Kidman has an average beef herd carrying capacity of 185,000 cattle and pastoral leases covering 101,000 sq km. Pic: Getty Images.

Reuters and FarmIreland Team

A massive farm in Australia is generating huge interest and bids

Bidding on the largest cattle farm in Australia has reached Aus $386 million after an all-Australian consortium placed an ‘unconditional’ bid on the property.

ABC News in Australia has reported that the offer, from four families, is larger than that made by mining magnate Gina Rinehart and her Chinese joint venture partner.

It comes two weeks after Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart and Chinese developer Shanghai CRED agreed on a deal to jointly purchase S. Kidman & Co, the country's largest private land holding, for Aus$365 million (€255m).

Under that deal, Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting would own 67pc and Shanghai CRED 33pc of Australian Outback Beef Pty Ltd, a new joint venture created to buy Kidman. A Rinehart deal would need Australian foreign investment approval.

In April, the Australian government rejected a Aus$371 million bid by a consortium headed by Shanghai CRED and Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming Co Ltd, alongside a minority 20pc Australian interest, the group's second rejection in six months.

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said the sale of Kidman's vast holdings - about the same size as South Korea - to the Chinese buyers was not in the national interest. Domestic ownership of agriculture is seen as crucial for Australia to cash in on global food demand and to keep tax revenues onshore.

Founded more than 100 years ago, Kidman has an average beef herd carrying capacity of 185,000 cattle and pastoral leases covering 101,000 sq km (39,000 sq miles). The company has already agreed to sell its Anna Creek Station in South Australia, which makes up a quarter of its land holding, to an Australian buyer.

West Australian and Northern Territory pastoralist Sterling Buntine, who is a member of the BBHO syndicate, which has made the latest offer, told ABC News that the four families comprising the consortium are deeply committed to honouring and preserving the Kidman heritage and brand, which will continue under the stewardship of highly regarded and successful Australian graziers.

Between them they own vast tracts of pastoral land across Australia and have about 400,000 head of cattle.

Online Editors