Cattle firms will not be sold to foreigners
Australia’s current government will never sell its largest cattle empire to foreigners, the treasurer said after blocking a takeover by a Chinese-led consortium. China-based Dakang Australia Holdings on Tuesday withdrew its application to buy an 80 per cent stake in Australia’s largest private landholding, S Kidman & Co Ltd, after Treasurer Scott Morrison last week announced a preliminary view that the sale was contrary to the national interest. Morrison said yesterday the main reason he opposed the 371 million Australian dollars (Dhs1 billion) sale was that the collection of cattle ranches was too big. “As a result of the decision I took last week... Australia’s largest land holding will not be sold to foreign interests,” Morrison told the National Press Club. “There’s got to be a limit and it was just too big.” S Kidman & Co Ltd owns 10 cattle ranches, a bull breeding stud and a feed lot covering 101,411sqkm in four states. That’s an area bigger than South Korea and almost the size of the US state of Virginia. Morrison said the company, founded in 1899, might be sold into foreign ownership if the government changes at elections in July.