Media mogul Kerry Stokes lists Kangaroo Island farm portfolio

Media mogul Kerry Stokes lists Kangaroo Island farm portfolio
Media mogul Kerry Stokes lists Kangaroo Island farm portfolio

Seven Group executive chairman Kerry Stokes and cattleman Peter Murray are selling the largest farming portfolio on South Australia's Kangaroo Island, estimated to nearly $50 million. 

The cattle, sheep and cropping aggregation on the 7,821 hectare Cygnet Park Farms, which Stokes and his long-time business partner have accumulated over the past decade, comes to market at a time when prime farmland values are rising, especially properties with beef, lamb and wool production.

The listing is being handled by Elders Real Estate with The Australian Financial Review citing industry sources as saying the farming portfolio could be valued as high as $50 million.

The portfolio is being offered on a walk in, walk out basis in one line or in individual allotments, contingent upon the remainder of the portfolio being sold. 

Like billionaire Stokes, mining tycoon Gina Rinehart and retailers Brett Blundy and Gerry Harvey have all been investing in agricultural assets in recent years.

The offering includes a herd of about 3300 cattle and 15,700 sheep and is expected to attract interest from international corporate investors and local farming groups. 

The island is famous for its local produce, which is marketed under the "Kangaroo Island" brand and is in much demand in Asia.

First established in 2007 under Murray, the aggregation has been steadily expanded over the years. In June 2015, Woodlana Station, a 2,823 hectare landholding at Cassini on the island's central north coast was acquired for $4.7 million.

Previously, in 2010, the pair acquired Clifton Downs, a 550 hectare grazing property on Kangaroo Island. Other properties in the portfolio include Long Hill Station.

Murray, one of Australia's most experienced cattlemen, said he had decided to bring the portfolio to market in order to focus on other business interests as he transitions into retirement. He turns 81 next month.

"I am very proud of the quality portfolio of both real estate and livestock assets that we have built in one of the world's most pristine agricultural environments. I will retain a smaller portfolio of properties on the Island moving forward as I remain convinced it is one of the best livestock production regions in Australia and has enormous opportunities to deliver high margin, quality produce to the world."

For the 77-year-old Stokes, the Cygnet Park Farms listing comes as he and other media moguls look to re-position their empires ahead of the relaxation of media ownership rules.

Last month Stokes' Seven Group Holdings, which owns 41 per cent of Seven West Media, sold its WestTrac China heavy machinery dealership for $540 million with plans to reinvest the proceeds back into Australia.

 Elders Real Estate general manager Tom Russo said the opportunity to acquire a portfolio of this scale in the Kangaroo Island region was unprecedented.

"There is currently unprecedented demand for clean, traceable food products in the Asia-Pacific region and further abroad. Kangaroo Island is ideally positioned to respond to this demand given its unique agricultural setting, enhanced biosecurity, GM free status and unpolluted environment,” said Russo.

"Given their proximity, the Cygnet Park Farms properties can be operated separately or as a whole,” he added.

Stokes and Murray are also invested on the South Australian mainland. In 2007, they purchased the Balquhidder Station, a sprawling 3000-hectare cattle property at Parawa for more than $20 million in 2007.

In 2009, they bought neighbouring Mt Scrub, a 660-hectare grazing property, for about $5 million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: 
Rural Listing Kangaroo Island

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