Kidmans fielding 'unofficial' offers

27 May, 2015 02:00 AM
Helen Springs Station in the Northern Territory. Photo: Gannawarra Times
Current signals point to hot local and overseas inquiry for quality Australian agricultural assets
Helen Springs Station in the Northern Territory. Photo: Gannawarra Times

MORE details of the proposed sale by tender of Australia's biggest privately owned agricultural landholder - S. Kidman and Company - are now likely to be released in early June.

An information memorandum providing a detailed financial and operational appraisal of the pastoral empire founded by 'cattle king' Sir Sidney Kidman had been expected in May, but sources involved with the company said it was now expected during the next two weeks.

Business advisory firm Ernst and Young is managing the tender through its Adelaide office.

Kidman family shareholders, who hold 98 per cent of the South Australian-based beef cattle production business, last month opted to formally test the level of serious investment interest in the 116-year-old business.

Current signals point to hot local and overseas inquiry for quality Australian agricultural assets, particularly in the rejuvenated beef sector.

Kidman and Company is understood to have had unofficial offers from aspiring buyers or partners in the past year.

Family matters

Many in the extended family descended from Sir Sidney have other investments in Australian agriculture and elsewhere and some are keen to sell so they can convert their long-term capital gains into cash to support their various investments.

However, the decision to sell has not been unanimous and shareholders are exercising caution about how any eventual sale process will be handled.

S. Kidman and Company has 11 cattle station aggregations and a feedlot covering more than 100,000 square kilometres in SA, Western Australia and Queensland, with many holdings owned by the business for more than a century.

The business turns off an average equivalent of 15,000 tonnes of carcase beef each year.

Its portfolio includes the world's largest cattle property, Anna Creek Station in SA, which covers 23,000 square kilometres.

Other SA holdings are "Innamincka, "Macumba" and "Tungali", plus "Durham Downs", "Durrie", "Glengyle", "Morney Plains", "Naryilco" and "Rockybank" in Queensland, Helen Springs Station in the Northern Territory and Ruby Plains Station in Western Australia.

The debt-free business will be offered in its entirety as a going concern, including stock, plant and property.

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall

is the national agribusiness writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


Jock Munro
27/05/2015 5:43:39 AM

Will it be the Chinese Government or a Middle Eastern one that buys a little more of Australia? And our urban elite politicians will cheer them on.
Hilda Hereford
27/05/2015 7:39:25 AM

Jock, this is mostly leasehold lend and Kidman probably only owns the stock. So good on the Chinese and Middle Easterns who want this insecure form of land tenure. Unless of course these OS buyers are getting a special title for what might be a foriegn embassy property that might be able to avoid all the restraints and costs an Australian would suffer!
King Billy
27/05/2015 8:13:58 AM

Welcome the foreign investment. We don't have the money to properly develop our own country. A commitment to develop is a long term thing and they can't just pack up and leave. The country will always be there for future generations but it will be in a whole lot developed than it is now.
Jock Munro
27/05/2015 9:16:38 AM

We can do the job ourselves King Billy- which of our farm and grazing lands are undeveloped?
Hilda Hereford
27/05/2015 10:20:05 AM

King Billy, you think the Chinese are silly enough to develop leasehold land and leave at no cost to the State government the development when the lease is finished?
27/05/2015 10:34:41 AM

Over grazing of leasehold land that is already at it optimum development. Is the most likely outcome from most of this wonderful foreign investment.
27/05/2015 10:40:38 AM

Jock, I am all for keeping our land in Aussie hands, but if no one here wants to buy it what is Kidman supposed to do? The government can't buy it all.
Hilda Hereford
27/05/2015 12:35:13 PM

Cam, if it's already leasehold the government owns it!!
27/05/2015 1:33:06 PM

Fair enough on this one then Hilda, but Jock goes off on any foreign purchases of farm land. Like I said I'm not for it but if someone is going under and they can't sell it locally what choice do they have
27/05/2015 1:47:23 PM

This is more foreign ownership than foreign investment/development. Having said that, isn’t NAPCo foreign owned?
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