IN perhaps the largest sale of a single parcel of broadacre land in Australia's history, a deal has finally been confirmed for the sale of John and Julie Nicoletti's massive cropping portfolio in the eastern Wheatbelt.
The 200,000 hectare (76,000ha freehold of cropping land and 134,000ha leasehold) Baladjie aggregation was bought by Saudi Agricultural Investment Company (SALIC).
This marks SALIC's first property investment in Australia and also its first in sheep.
Mr Nicoletti declined to reveal the sale price but said it was "a little less" than his hope of $75 million to $85m which he expressed in May 2018, when the property first went to market.
It has been confirmed that SALIC paid more than $60m for the portfolio.
Mr Nicoletti said the sale process had been stressful and was relieved to have the deal settled.
"It has been a bit long-winded but the outcome has been pleasing for both sides," Mr Nicoletti said.
"I am looking forward to having more 'me time' and to focus more on my John Deere dealership network which will allow me to spend more time at other branches.
"I will miss farming but at 65 years old, I learnt to say 'enough is enough'."
SALIC is owned by the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and according to its website, has investments in 17 countries and regions with a focus on agriculture and livestock, but also has interests in supply, storage and handling.
The company's website lists its Australian investments as a priority for wheat, barley, green fodder, rice and red meat.
CBRE Agribusiness's Danny Thomas, along with Damian Bryce, map19, handled the deal.
"The purchaser was drawn to the scale and quality of this property, with it providing an opportunity to expand their platform significantly with geographic spread and also execute on their investment strategies," Mr Thomas said.
Included in the sale, with properties throughout Merredin, Mukinbudin, Bullfinch and Southern Cross, were about 40,000 Merino ewes, plus rams and progeny and plant and equipment, with 14 headers, 12 seeding rigs, seven boomsprayers, eight prime movers, four speed tillers,
13 high horsepower tractors, seven front-wheel assist tractors and seven telehandlers.
The properties also had more than 15,000 tonnes of silo storage.
- For more details on the sale, make sure you get this Thursday's copy of Farm Weekly.