Cubbie buyer confirmed

04 Jun, 2010 12:32 PM

A SWISS-based financial company with strong ownership connections in the Middle East has confirmed it is in negotiations to buy 53 per cent of controversial south western Queensland irrigation giant, Cubbie Station.

Western Gulf Advisory AG is expected to buy the majority stake in the parent company, Cubbie Group Limited, which farms 93,000 hectares of the Lower Balonne floodplain just north of the NSW border near Dirranbandi.

Western Gulf Advisory, based in Zug in northern Switzerland, has offices in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Bahrain, where it is run by its founder and chief executive officer, Ahsan Ali.

Mr Ali, a finance and law graduate has a clientele that includes royal families and business identities across the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

The company recently provided about $220 million in funding for Hunter Valley based wind farm developer, Alan Keller, to begin a housing and industrial land development project at Gawler in South Australia to provide accommodation services for the SA mining industry's nearby expansion.

Western Gulf Advisory was reported yesterday to have raised up to $300 million to resolve the debt issues of Cubbie - Australia's biggest individual cotton producer with major water capture and storage capabilities totalling about 500,000 megalitres.

Cubbie chairman, Keith De Lacy, has said he expected to have a proposal to put forward at the deferred creditors meeting on June 15.

Cubbie Group, whose main creditors are the National Australia Bank and Suncorp, was placed into administration with McGrathNicol last October after banking facilities on $320 million of debt expired.

McGrathNicol administrator, John Cronin, has apparently claimed an adjourned second creditors' meeting on June 15 was likely to have an outcome.

"I would like to reinforce the fact that we still have two contenders who have strong prospects," he said.

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4/06/2010 2:18:46 PM

This is an absolute disgrace! Why does not Rudd just give the keys to the place and be done with it!
4/06/2010 5:03:36 PM

The South Australian and Federal governments should buy it and return the water to the system. Another 200 million has just been promised to revive the lower Murray which will be more money down the drain unless there is some water clawed back from the water hoarders to allow high flow events to reach the bottom of the catchement every five years or so. Without these flows, the bottom third of the system and the livelihoods of those that rely on it are screwed.
Darren Donald
4/06/2010 6:49:27 PM

Tigerdickey - An absolute disgrace of what? Your comment doesn't even make any sense.
Bushie Bill
5/06/2010 7:47:59 PM

Why, tige? Would you be happy to be prevented from accepting the highest price offered for an asset you owned?
7/06/2010 6:30:50 AM

Earlier this year the Queensland part of the Murray Darling basin experienced record rainfall and flooding. It now looks like that water will barely make it to the lower lakes. That just goes to show what a tiny contribution Queensland makes to the overall Murray Darling system. And how ridiculous comments from people like fridgimus, really are. The impact of Cubby Station on the lower Murray is so tiny I doubt if it even be measured.
Reality bites
7/06/2010 7:24:39 AM

Lets tidy up some facts: the river systems are not concrete channels. Water tipped in at one end does not neatly run out the other end. Once the (shallow) rivers pop out of their banks, the thoroughly dry (silty) soil on the edge of the rivers acts like a massive sponge. Qlander is right, Cubbys impact below Menindee lakes (read evaporation pan) could not be measured.
7/06/2010 1:46:21 PM

I think it is wonderful what Chairman Rudd and Ms Wong have been able to achieve without any media scrutiny. 12 months ago, Cubbie had a very small water right, BUT, a massive water storage where it took flood waters equal to 5 times Sydney Harbour by volume. The chairman of Cubbie is a well respected Labor Party man in QLD and even chaired a water resource enquiry for Labor in QLD. After all of the issues in regards to no water in the Darling River and the buy back of water by Rudd & Wong we now, strangely, find with the wave of a wand, QLD Labor has been allowed, by Rudd & Wong, to issue Cubbie with a water licence for the water it was removing without a licence. THIS WAS AFTER CUBBIE WENT BROKE. If you can't help a mate out in times of need who can you help? With annual licence fees of around $4,000 for 500,000,000,000 litres of water I am sure all of the farmers in Victoria and NSW feel the Prime Minister and young Penny have not got it wong. Now if one does the sums (Mr Goss never did hold that Enviromental Assessment Study on Cubbie when Kev07 was his assistant) one might think the only asset the Swiss bought was the water licence. Thanks Kev.
8/06/2010 7:24:22 AM

Paddy: Not only are you a fool, you are lazy fool. Less than a minute on Google will tell you that Sydney Harbour is more than 500 gigalitres. Cubbie Station storage holds 537 megalitres when full (and that happens on average once in 10 years). One gigalitres = 1000 megalitres so you are wrong by a factor of 5000. But hey, when it comes to Cubbie Station that seemed to be about par for the course. Get on Google Earth and go to 28.41.26S - 148.02.9E and have a look for yourself. As my dad used to say, aim first - shoot second.

Editor's note: For the record the Cubbie Group of properties has a total irrigation capacity of 537,000 megalitres.

Posted by moderator: Michael Thomson on 8/06/2010 7:52:35 AM
8/06/2010 8:25:29 AM

It seems to depend on which website you look at. But I just checked the official licence and it is 537,000 megalitres or 537 gigalitres I guess the confusion is between gigalitres and megalitres. So Paddy is only wrong by a factor of 5 X 10 years. Either way I can't imagine anchoring a battle fleet in the Cubbie Station storages.


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