Mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Agriculture plans to sell her cattle stations in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with the cattle stations tipped to fetch around $300 million.
Offering a portfolio of seven stations spanning 1.876 million hectares, 100,000 head of cattle and a feedlot, the listing is believed the biggest single agricultural portfolio ever to be offered in Australia.
Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Agriculture is seeking expressions of interests for the portfolio of stations including the Northern Territory’s Aroona, Willeroo, Riveren and Inverway, and Western Australia’s Nerrima, Ruby Plains and Sturt Creek.
A 20,000-head feedlot and cattle export yard near Katherine is also on the market.
Ms Rinehart became one of Australia’s biggest beef producers in 2016 when Hancock Prospecting was the majority buyer of the S. Kidman and Company cattle properties for $386.5 million in a joint venture with Chinese partner Shanghai CRED.
Since acquiring each of the assets, Hancock Agriculture has undertaken an extensive and comprehensive capital works program to further improve them, with a focus on water storage and distribution infrastructure, deploying innovative technology, employee safety, animal welfare and improving cattle herd quality – particularly through the significant reduction in the age profile of the breeder herd.
With this development process now significantly advanced or completed, Hancock Agriculture is now looking to complete its investment cycle and focus on other areas of growth in its agricultural operations.
Elders has been appointed selling agents for the properties, with general manager Tom Russo saying the sale represents a rare opportunity to acquire a strategically constructed portfolio of assets at scale during a period of unprecedented growth in demand for quality Australian protein.
“The geographic locations of the individual stations, coupled with the completion of an extensive and high-quality capital improvements program and a refinement of the breeder herd, allows for the operation of an efficient beef production enterprise which enjoys economies of scale and operational flexibility,” he said.
“This ultimately results in higher productivity and returns. The addition of the Phoenix Park feedlot and export depot is highly strategic, assisting with the wet season growing program, providing flexible market timing options and allowing for sale weights to be maximised.
“The growth of the Hancock Agriculture portfolio in such a small space of time, and its huge investment, is nothing short of astonishing.
“This sale is a refinement of the overall portfolio following a period of value creation through further investment and strong management and our client’s intention is to reinvest in the growth and improvement of their larger agricultural enterprise, continue to focus on innovation and maintaining high standards throughout the supply chain for employee safety and animal welfare”.
The first stage of the expressions of interest will start mid-March before closing on April 23.
Hancock Agriculture intends to retain and grow its remaining operations in Queensland, South Australia, NSW and the NT.
Ms Rinehart still holds Fossil Downs Station, Liveringa Station, and Mulga Downs Station in WA alongside several other properties across Australia through Hancock Agriculture and S.Kidman and Co.
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