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December 10, 2016

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Sino-Aussie group wins cattle empire bid

AUSTRALIA’S Treasurer Scott Morrison has approved the sale of Australia’s largest pastoral land holding, S. Kidman & Co, to a partnership involving local mining magnate Gina Rinehart and Chinese consortium Shanghai CRED.

Following months of speculation as to whether or not Morrison would approve a bid involving a foreign firm, the treasurer released a statement yesterday formally approving the sale of the cattle empire to Australian Outback Beef, a venture 67 percent owned by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and 33 percent by Shanghai CRED.

Morrison had previously knocked back Chinese-majority bids for the empire due to worries over “national security” and “national interest,” but under the deal struck with AOB, Morrison said there would be no cause for concern.

“Consistent with the recommendation from the Foreign Investment Review Board, I have decided that the acquisition of Kidman as proposed would not be contrary to the national interest and will be permitted to proceed as proposed,” he said.

Under the agreement, S. Kidman & Co’s contentious Anna Creek holding, which backs onto the Royal Australian Air Force’s Woomera weapons testing range, would not be included as part of the sale to AOB.

“Under the proposal, the largest station in the Kidman group, Anna Creek and its outstation The Peake, will be acquired by the Williams Family, a local farming family with properties that adjoin Anna Creek,” Morrison said.

“The remainder of the S. Kidman & Co Ltd business will be acquired by Australian Outback Beef Pty Ltd.

“Under the proposal, Australian-owned Hancock will control the Board, and will control day-to-day operation of the business. Kidman will remain majority Australian-owned under this proposal, and remain an Australian-incorporated company headquartered in South Australia.”


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