A DECISION on the preferred bidder for the $300 million-plus pastoral business S. Kidman and Company is now not expected for some weeks because late changes have been made to some bidding partnerships vying for the big cattle business.
Advisor on the sale, EY (Ernst and Young) has revealled negotiations are continuing with some bidding parties after several final bids were received for the company last week.
As late changes in the make-up of some bidding consortiums required some reapplications for government and other regulatory approvals, a final decision on the bids by Kidman directors has been delayed, although is still expected before year's end.
EY had hoped to identify a preferred bidder and make a recommendation to the Kidman shareholders following this week's Kidman board meeting.
However, given the delays, Kidman directors have postponed any decision on bids from a shortlist of finalists until the statutory and commercial approvals are in place.
EY spokesman Don Manifold said it was not at all unusual for transactions of this magnitude to be delayed as bid conditions and regulatory details were worked through.
The final shortlist of bidders included both overseas and domestic interests who had entered into thorough due diligence processes including liaising with appropriate government departments and agencies, field visits to properties and appraising an extensive range of data files and documents on the business before final bids were lodged by October 27.
S. Kidman and Company is one of Australia's largest cattle producers.
It was placed on the market in April as a going concern by family shareholders who hold 98 per cent of the company.
An extensive sales process has been managed by EY's Adelaide office, including the distribution of an information memorandum to registered parties and the lodgement of more than 20 non-binding indicative offers.
The 115-year-old S Kidman and Company cattle business covers 10.1 million hectares in three states and the Northern Territory.
The South Australian-based empire and legacy of last century's "cattle king" Sir Sidney Kidman includes 10 property aggregations , plus a feedlot in SA and the bull breeding and cropping property, "Rockybank", near Roma in south western Queensland.