For sale: A big chunk of the Australian continent

The largest private parcel of land in Australia – if not the world – the iconic S. Kidman & Co property, is on the market for the first time in over a century.

The S. Kidman & Co property, which spans a staggering 11 million hectares across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia, is expected to fetch at least $325 million.

The vast outback property, which includes the world’s largest cattle station, the 23,000-square kilometre Anna Creek Station, has been in the family of “cattle king”, Sir Sidney Kidman, for more than 100 years. Kidman was a penniless runaway who became the country’s greatest pastoralist.

Larger than Ireland, the 101,411-square kilometre holding is a collection of 19 individual cattle properties and is being sold by tender by Ernst and Young as a debt-free going concern. It comes complete with nearly 190,000 head of cattle worth $117 million, 767 horses, 15 homesteads, a feedlot and all plant and buildings.

The Kidman property is larger than Ireland.

Cattle station

Kidman was founded in 1899 by Sir Sidney Kidman. Image: S. Kidman & Co Ltd.

In April, the multi-millionaire Kidman family shareholders, who have a net worth of $364 million, putting them at number 37 on the BRW Rich List, decided to put the business up for sale. The Kidman company, which employs 170 staff, has its headquarters in Adelaide.

Ernst and Young Adelaide managing partner, Don Manifold, who is handling the sale, says there is no short shortage of interest in the “blue chip” property, especially given the current strong international cattle market.

There is no shortage of interest in the blue chip property.

“This is a rare opportunity to buy a large-scale agricultural business in excellent financial condition, with a balanced and diverse property and there has been significant interest since expressions of interest opened. We have provided detailed information to about 30 interested parties,” Manifold says.

Cattle station

S. Kidman & Co Ltd is Australia’s largest private landholder. Image: S. Kidman & Co Ltd.

More than half of those interested parties are Australian. They are said to be competing with a bidders from China, the US, Canada, the UK, Switzerland, South America and Indonesia.

“While there have been some concerns raised about a foreign entity potentially purchasing the iconic property and I understand people’s concerns, this is a very well-managed cattle business, so interest from overseas is to be expected. The Foreign Investment Review Board and a number of State Governments will all be involved because we are talking about long-term pastoral leases,” Manifold says.

Bids must be in by the mid-July. Shortlisted parties will then have the chance to tour the property – which could take up to a week via small plane. Manifold expects the sale to be complete by the end of the year.

*Main image: S. Kidman & Co Ltd.


thanks REA.