Cat­tle firms will not be sold to for­eign­ers

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

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.

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