Chinese consortium withdraws bid for Australia's largest landholder

GMT 21:17 2016 Tuesday ,03 May

Arab Today, arab today Chinese consortium withdraws bid for Australia's largest landholder

Withdraw 371 million Australian dollar
Sydney - XINHUA

 A Chinse-led consortium made up of Chinese-based Dakang Australia Holdings and ASX-listed Australian Rural Capital Ltd has decided to withdraw its 371 million Australian dollar (281.30 million U.S. dollar) bid for S Kidman & Co Ltd (Kidman).

The consortium made the decision to withdraw its application from the foreign investment review board (FIRB) for Australia's largest landholder after Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison rejected the offer last Friday.

Kidman managing director Greg Campbell said that faced with such tight timelines, withdrawing the FIRB application and terminating the bid implementation agreement (BID) was really the only option available.

"Kidman is typical of many large agricultural pastoral holdings in that the value of the business comes from the strategic advantage in having a geographically spread portfolio of properties," Campbell said.

"A break up of the business to sell properties separately would result in significant reduction in Kidman's value, reduced production of up to 3,000 tonnes of beef per annum, the loss of 50 jobs from the present structure, and lower tax revenue for the country."

He noted the consortium's proposed 46 million Australian dollar (34.87 million U.S. dollars) investment in new capital to support growing the herd to 220,000, and the addition of up to 50 new jobs in northern Australia, would not go ahead.

"In Dakang we lost an investor that was keen to grow Australia's beef industry," James Laurenceson, deputy director of the Australia-China Relations' Institute told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"Finding another as enthusiastic and wiling to put their money where their mouth is may not be easy."

The company operates 10 cattle stations covering 101,000 sqaure kilometres across regional South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Kidman was founded in 1899 and is Australia's fifth largest beef cattle producer.

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