Hancock Agriculture and S. Kidman and Co have entered contracts for the sale of Phoenix Farm in the Northern Territory and South Australia’s Innamincka Station and Macumba Station to Crown Point Pastoral. This announcement comes after the sale of three Western Australian stations in 2021.
As reported by the ABC, Innamincka (1,360,000 ha) and Macumba stations (1,106,300 ha) were not intended for sale; significant external interest drove Hancock Agriculture to include them in the divestment.
“Completion of the sales above will occur once approval from the relevant pastoral land regulator in South Australia is received,” the statement read.
“The sale of these properties is consistent with Hancock Agriculture’s strategy of divesting properties where it had already invested to improve them by focussing on specific areas, including improved animal welfare and employee safety, the use of technology and innovation and genetic improvements across the herds.”
A grand total of 3,787,519 hectares will be set to change hands – an area just smaller than the country of Monaco.
Hancock Property Divestment Already Underway
Large swathes of Hancock Agriculture and S. Kidman and Co’s land has already been sold in deals inked last year.
Three Western Australian stations were also sold in 2021, with Ruby Plains and Sturt Creek stations (796,134 ha) bought by Crown Point Pastoral and Nerrima Station (203,142 ha) sold to the Emmanuel family.
2021 also saw Aroona Station in the NT sold to the DiGiorgio family and Willeroo Station (171,000 ha) go to NT-based company Brett Cattle.
The latest deal leaves just Riveren and Inverway Stations in the Victoria River District of the Northern Territory available for purchase.
Global Interest but Ultimately Australian Investments
Elders Executive General Manager Real Estate, Tom Russo, confirmed to Farm Online that the sale process had drawn interest from a global field of investors. However, he noted that ultimately all the successful buyers are Australian agribusiness operators.
“When considering the structuring of the sale campaign, a key priority of Hancock Agriculture was to ensure that all potential buyers were given the opportunity to visit the properties,” he said.
“The high quality of these properties after investment by Hancock Agriculture and their management under its ownership was evident in the level of interest received and the feedback from multiple parties that visited the properties, praising the status of the properties and the condition of the cattle.”
“It really is exciting to see such a strong level of confidence and willingness to invest in the future of northern Australian beef production from such successful and well credentialled Australian family-owned businesses.”
The 2019-20 report from the Foreign Investment Review Board shows that most international investment in Australia was in residential real estate.
In the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector, there were 174 approvals worth $8.3 billion, compared to residential real estate where there were 7,056 approvals worth $17.1 billion.