Australia’s richest woman Gina Rhinehart has finalised her bid for S Kidman and Co, Australia’s biggest landholder.
Partnering with ith Shanghai CRED, she’s formed a company, Australian Outback Beef, to acquire all of Kidman’s assets, except the politically sensitive Anna Creek cattle station, near Woomera, South Australia. Her Hancock Mining will have 67 per cent, Shanghai CRED, owned by Chinese businessman Gui Guojie, will own 33pc.
The deal requires the support of Treasurer Scott Morrison after a FIRB review, but is likely to be approved.
The Hancock bid is totally different from a previous Majority(80pc) Chinese bid fort Kidman that Morrison recently reje ted, when the 20pc Australian participant was not sufficiently capitalized to afford its stake. The Turnbull; government will also be keen to show Beijing that it is not against Chinese investment. Beef exports from Australia to China increased 13 fold ibetween 20-12 and 2014, and are expected to rise by another $100 billion by 2030. Sino-Australian Cattle and Beef Relationship.
A recent report from the Registry of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land reveals only 13.6 per cent of Australian farmland is owned by overseas entities.
Interests from Britain, the US, Singapore and The Netherlands own substantially more than China, which claims only about 1.4 million of the 385 million hectares of agricultural land. British investors own 27.5 million hectares — which is more than half of all land owned by foreign interests — and US investors own seven million hectares.
On a state-by-state basis, the registry revealed Queensland is home to the most land owned by foreign interests (17.658 million hectares), but the Northern Territory has the highest percentage of overseas land investment, with about a third of farmland no longer held by Australian companies or individuals.