Morrison knocks back massive land deal

Published at Nov 19, 2015, in Features

About 1.3% of Australia’s total land area will not be sold off to Chinese companies. Well, at least not yet.

Australian treasurer Scott Morrison, acting on advice from the Foreign Investment Review Board, has decided to knock back an application from what is believed to be a Chinese consortium to buy S. Kidman and Co.

According to previous reports, the sale being handled by EY was set to go for about $325 million, making it the single largest land purchase since the sale of Consolidated Pastoral back in 2009.

Kidman and Co. is Australia’s largest private landowner and owns 1.3% of Australia’s total land area.

This includes 2.5% of Australia’s total agricultural land, and the company has 10 cattle stations including properties in South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland.

These properties cover 101,411 sq.km.

Increasing Chinese investment in Australia’s agricultural sector has caused disquiet in the community, despite the US being the single largest foreign investor in Australia.

In a statement outlining his decision, Morrison said that one cattle station caused more concern than the others.

Anna Creek is located in South Australia, and importantly 50% of the lease is within the Woomera Prohibited Area.

The WPA is used as a weapons testing range, with Morrison calling it a “sensitive area”.

Morrison said the buyers had withdrawn their application based on advice from the minister before he made his public statement, and it is now up to the buyers to either drop their interest altogether or to work with the buyers on a purchase plan which will bypass the national security concerns.

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (CAR No.433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information only. Any advice is general advice only. Neither your personal objectives, financial situation nor needs have been taken into consideration. Accordingly you should consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to those objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.

Conflict of Interest Notice

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd does and seeks to do business with companies featured in its articles. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this article. Investors should consider this article as only a single factor in making any investment decision. The publishers of this article also wish to disclose that they may hold this stock in their portfolios and that any decision to purchase this stock should be done so after the purchaser has made their own inquires as to the validity of any information in this article.

Publishers Notice

The information contained in this article is current at the finalised date. The information contained in this article is based on sources reasonably considered to be reliable by S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and available in the public domain. No “insider information” is ever sourced, disclosed or used by S3 Consortium.