Chinese-led group to buy Aussie cattle producer

SYDNEY • Australian cattle producer S. Kidman & Co has attracted its second public foreign buyout offer in six months, agreeing on a deal with a Chinese-led group that will need the regulatory approval that was denied to its previous suitor.

This comes amid a public outcry over assets passing into non-Australian hands.

A consortium involving China's Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming Co and Shanghai CRED Real Estate Stock agreed to buy Kidman for A$370.7 million (S$387.7 million), the firms said yesterday. The 117-year-old target is Australia's fifth-largest cattle producer.

A previous foreign buyout of Kidman and its 101,000 sq km of farmland was blocked as the Australian government was concerned one Kidman cattle station was too close to a rocket testing site, media reports had said.

Kidman and its prospective buyers said in a statement that the Anna Creek station in South Australia state would be kept out of the sale.

The statement said Shenzhen-listed Dakang and privately held Chinese property investor CRED would take an 80 per cent stake in Kidman, while Sydney-listed farm investor Australian Rural Capital (ARC) would get the other 20 per cent.

ARC executive chairman James Jackson said in the statement that his company's involvement in the purchase would create "an excellent opportunity for Australian investors to participate in the growing international demand for Australian beef".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese-led group to buy Aussie cattle producer'. Print Edition | Subscribe