Negotiations move on for Nicoletti sale

20 Jan, 2016 11:27 AM
WA grain grower John Nicoletti's 80,000 hectare operation has been on the market for 14 months and an outcome could be reached this month.
WA grain grower John Nicoletti's 80,000 hectare operation has been on the market for 14 months and an outcome could be reached this month.

THE sale of the 80,000 hectare Nicoletti grain empire could be just weeks away after 14 months in limbo.

Negotiations are believed to be in the final stages and an outcome could be reached by the end of the month.

It was revealed John Nicoletti's multiple WA landholdings were on offer late in 2014 through real estate firm CBRE.

CBRE said it was unable to comment due to contractual agreements.

Mr Nicoletti said last year he was looking to retire from grain-growing and hoped to secure $60 million for his six properties.

CBRE indicated there was early interest in the portfolio and a sale was expected by March last year, however, the expression of interest and sale process was hit with delays.

The landholdings on offer stretch from Mullewa to Bullfinch, Walgoolan, Moorine Rock and Merredin and are for sale either as a whole entity or individually.

This is not the first time Mr Nicoletti has put his properties up for sale.

Prior to the 2008 cropping season, Mr Nicoletti said he was looking to plant 100,000ha of grain across his owned and leased properties.

That program was later reduced to 80,000ha because of a dry start.

Mr Nicoletti's move to downsize was first flagged in 2013, when he listed the Mullewa property Daisy Downs for sale.

At the time he told Farm Weekly that he would be open to selling all of his land if he got the right offer.

He reported then that he was in talks with interested buyers, including foreign entities, however a sale never occurred.

Daisy Downs is yet to sell and recently the price on the 27,600ha property was reduced from $11 million to $7m.

Mr Nicoletti said he was confident there was interest and people willing to pay the right price for his assets.

In May CBRE reported Mr Nicoletti's properties had attracted "unprecedented" levels of interest from overseas and local buyers since they were put on the market.

Buyer interest had been in sale and leaseback to the Nicoletti group as a sale option over the prospect of vacant possession or "walk-in, walk-out".

Despite his plans for retirement, Mr Nicoletti previously confirmed he would retain his connection with agriculture via the John Deere dealerships he owns.

Mr Nicoletti runs six dealerships through the Ag Implements company in Merredin, Northam, Cunderdin, Mukinbudin, Narembeen and Quairading.


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