S. Kidman cattle empire set for sale to same Chinese bidders

S. Kidman cattle empire set for sale to same Chinese bidders
S. Kidman cattle empire set for sale to same Chinese bidders

Ernst & Young is close to selling the Kidman family’s ­vast cattle estate, minus the offending ­property near Woomera, to Chinese-based buyers.

The preferred Hunan Dakang bid will re-emerge with an Australian partner to buy all the Kidman property except Anna Creek at a price a little below the original bid at $370 million, according to The Australian business columnist John  Durie.

"The bid will be approved with little fuss and everyone will wonder what all the noise was about," he wrote today, adding the sale of the rest of the property to the same Chinese bidder, complete with an Australian partner, will restore some sanity to the debate. 

Australia's biggest private rural landholding, which includes the world's largest cattle station, is up for sale by the pioneering pastoralist company, S. Kidman and Co. 

Eleven cattle stations covering more than 100,000 square kilometres are being offered through Ernst and Young Adelaide.

S. Kidman and Co. is 98% owned by members of the Kidman family, represented by 58 shareholdings. Not all wanted to sell, The Land reported earlier this year, adding last financial year the company reported a net operating cashflow of $9.3 million and paid dividends of 20 cents a share. 

But it recorded a net after tax loss of $1.4m as herd numbers declined 15 per cent because of tough seasonal conditions to 182,350 head, and their livestock market value fell about $10 million to $97.4 million.

The cattle king Sir Sidney Kidman's first purchase was in 1886: Owen Springs south-west of Alice Springs.

The business still has cattle stations across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia. 

Anna Creek Station in South Australia's outback, with defence security proximity concerns, is the largest at 23,000 square kilometres. 

The other holdings include Helen Springs in the Northern Territory and Ruby Plains in Western Australia, Durham Downs, Durrie, Glengyle, Morney Plains, Naryilco and Rockybank in Queensland; Innamincka, Macumba and Tungali in South Australia where the company is headquartered.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Rural Cattle Station

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