Australia’s largest farm with 160,000 cattle to be sold for €256m

A deal has been struck to sell Australia’s largest farm for AU$370.7m (€256m), media reports in Australia suggest.

The farm which is owned by S Kidman and Co will be sold in part to a Chinese buyer, when the deal has been cleared by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

S. Kidman and Co, which is Australia’s largest landowner, owns approximately 1.3% of Australia’s total land area and 2.5% of the total agricultural land.

The sale will include a herd of 160,000 cattle and a number of cattle stations in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Under the proposed sale, S Kidman and Co will sell 80% of the cattle company to China’s Dakang Australia Holdings and the rest to Australian Rural Capital (ARC).

In a statement on the proposed sale, Chairman of S Kidman and Co, John Crosby said that the sale would lead to an increase in production and the expansion of international markets for Kidman beef.

“We believe Dakang Australia and ARC will be good custodians of the business and this transaction will provide a solid platform for growth and, at the same time, an opportunity for Australians to participate in Kidman’s future,” he said.

However, the sale of the farm will all depend on clearance from the FIRB and the Australian government.

In November of last year, the Australian government blocked the sale of the farm to another Chinese investor following a recommendation made by the FIRB.

The Australian government cited the size and significance of the total portfolio along with national security as the reasons for blocking the sale.

It also said that one of the properties included in the sale was located in the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) in South Australia and it was not unusual for governments to restrict access to sensitive areas on national security grounds.

But, the property located in the WPA is not included in the most recent proposed sale.