Big cor­po­rates lift our agri­cul­tural stocks


Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Who Owns Australia’s Farms -


WHEN it comes to stak­ing a claim on the Aus­tralian farm­ing land­scape, min­ing mag­nate and Aus­tralia’s rich­est per­son, Gina Rine­hart (above) has led the charge.

Ms Rine­hart has put to­gether an im­pres­sive port­fo­lio of prop­er­ties to­talling about 2.2 mil­lion hectares in re­cent years in ad­di­tion to her two-thirds stake in Out­back Beef, the joint Aus­tralianChi­nese con­sor­tium that paid

$386.5 mil­lion for the na­tion’s big­gest land­holder, S Kidman and Co, in late 2016.

Her buy­ing spree con­tin­ued into last year, snap­ping up the

151,000ha Aroona Sta­tion at Kather­ine in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory last March, fol­lowed by May­dan Feed­lot in War­wick in Queens­land last June, the

171,000ha Willeroo Sta­tion at Kather­ine in Oc­to­ber and a

21,000ha ag­gre­ga­tion of four prop­er­ties near Roma in Queens­land in De­cem­ber.

Her big­gest hold­ing out­side the Kidman port­fo­lio is the

550,000ha In­ver­way and Riv­eren Sta­tions in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s Vic­to­ria River district, which she pur­chased for about $60 mil­lion in 2016.


FROM min­ing to din­ing, An­drew “Twiggy” Forrest, (above), sees a great fu­ture in agri­cul­ture.

And he’s among the top-end-of-town­ers putting his money where the mouths are.

Mr Forrest and wife Ni­cola have made a strate­gic in­vest­ment in the north­ern Aus­tralian beef in­dus­try in re­cent years and their Min­deroo Group now over­sees about 1.28 mil­lion hectares across six prop­er­ties in their home state of Western Aus­tralia.

On it they run about 50,000 cat­tle.

The For­rests pur­chased his former fam­ily prop­erty, the

240,000ha Min­deroo Sta­tion, near Onslow in the Pil­bara in

2009, be­fore adding the

490,000ha Nanu­tarra-Ua­roo in 2012.

Brick­house Sta­tion

(225,000ha) at Carnar­von fol­lowed in 2015, a year be­fore the 273,000ha Minilya Sta­tion, near Co­ral Bay, was added.

Min­deroo Group also leases the 56,000ha Urala Sta­tion, just north of Min­deroo, with

70km of coast­line.

The For­rests paid a re­ported $40 mil­lion for Har­vey Beef, Western Aus­tralia’s largest beef pro­ces­sor, in 2014.


HASSAD Aus­tralia will place a greater em­pha­sis on lamb and grain mar­kets fol­low­ing a year of ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion dur­ing 2017.

The Qatari sov­er­eign wealth fund, founded in 2009 and headed up by John McKillop, (pic­tured right), owns nine farm­ing ag­gre­ga­tions to­talling more than 150,000ha.

It off­loaded five ag­gre­ga­tions last year: the 125,000ha Clover Downs Merino prop­erty at Cun­na­mulla in Queens­land, the 2632ha Kal­ad­bro Sta­tion at Strath­downie, as well as ag­gre­ga­tions at War­ren in NSW, and at Burra and the Eyre Penin­sula in South Aus­tralia.

Hassad’s in­vest­ments cur­rently com­prise farms in Vic­to­ria, NSW and Western Aus­tralia.

Its big­gest farm is the

47,677ha Telo­pea Downs Sta­tion at Telo­pea in western Vic­to­ria.

It also owns the 8244ha Bar­ton Sta­tion at Moys­ton, which it pur­chased in 2011, and the 7448ha En­gle­wood Plains at Wagga Wagga.

There are three other NSW prop­er­ties – Old Bun­damar

(22,562ha) at Trangie, Uraw­ilkie (25,932ha) at Coon­am­ble, and Gin­durra

(8516ha) at Canowin­dra – with the re­main­ing three prop­er­ties in Western Aus­tralia to­talling



CON­SOL­I­DATED Pas­toral Com­pany could well be­come Aus­tralia’s bil­lion-dollar baby if plans to sell the operation are re­alised.

CPC is Aus­tralia’s largest pri­vately owned beef pro­ducer, run­ning 400,000 cat­tle over

16 prop­er­ties and more than

5.5 mil­lion hectares. UK-based Terra Firma Cap­i­tal owns the ma­jor­ity stake in the busi­ness, which they bought from the Packer fam­ily in 2009, and they of­fi­cially placed it on the mar­ket in March. Troy Set­ter (pic­tured above) is the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

The bulk of the CPC busi­ness is in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, with large hold­ings also in Queens­land and Western Aus­tralia.

Its flag­ship prop­er­ties in­clude the 1.03 mil­lion hectare New­cas­tle Wa­ters Sta­tion at Barkly in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, which it has owned for 35 years, and the 852,300ha Nock­atunga Sta­tion at Thar­go­min­dah in Queens­land. CPC also owns the 28,000-head Lam­pung and 7500-head Medan feed­lots in In­done­sia.

Its most re­cent prop­erty pur­chase came last year when it ac­quired the 3941ha Emu’s Nest prop­erty at Biloela in Queens­land for $8.3 mil­lion.


ICONIC Rive­rina pas­toral operation FS Falkiner has a long and proud his­tory.

And it re­mains the jewel in the crown of the Bell fam­ily’s Aus­tralian Food and Agri­cul­ture, de­spite the com­pany, or a share of it, be­ing of­fered for sale last year.

At the time, there was talk the com­pany could fetch as much as $330 mil­lion.

Colin Bell, of Bell Se­cu­ri­ties (pic­tured right) is one of five own­ers of AFA, which stretches over 224,138ha around the Conargo, Hay and Coon­am­ble dis­tricts of NSW.

The Conargo prop­er­ties to­tal 122,935ha, the Hay prop­er­ties en­com­pass 57,624ha while Win­gadee and Nether­way at Coon­am­ble cover 44,846ha. The op­er­a­tions in­clude 11,000ha of ir­ri­gated crop­ping,

22,000ha of dry­land crop­ping, 4000 here­ford breed­ing cows and 79,000 merino breed­ing ewes.

A feed­lot li­censed to carry

5000 cat­tle and 15,000 sheep was re­cently built on Pep­pinella. The Bell fam­ily pur­chased the FS Falkiner prop­er­ties from News Lim­ited – pub­lisher of The Ru­ral Weekly – in 2000.


SIR Michael Hintze (above) could well be Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture’s knight in shining ar­mour.

The Bri­tish-Aus­tralian busi­ness­man, who has a net worth of about $1.8 bil­lion, owns more than 65,000ha across 16 farms in Vic­to­ria, NSW and Queens­land.

The founder of the

$12 bil­lion CQS global fund man­ager, Sir Michael started putting his MH Pre­mium Farms port­fo­lio to­gether in

2007 and now owns a di­verse range of prop­er­ties grow­ing lamb, wool, beef, sugar, wheat and cot­ton.

Last year he snapped up the show­piece 1951ha western Vic­to­ria prop­erty Che­viot Hills at Pen­shurst for

$10 mil­lion af­ter buy­ing the

2573ha Del­troit Sta­tion at Ade­long in south­ern NSW in


Del­troit re­cently hosted a din­ner for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cam­bridge while they were in Aus­tralia to at­tend the Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games.

Most of Sir Michael’s farms are in south­ern NSW, in­clud­ing the 3568ha Bur­ran­gong at Young, the

969ha Glais­nock at Young, Rip­pling Wa­ter at Tum­barumba

(2105ha), Spring­field at Boorowa (4917ha) and Wat­son Park at Yarra, near Goul­burn. MH Pre­mium Farm’s big­gest prop­erty is the

12,548ha Marsh­mead at Wal­gett in north­ern NSW. THE big are get­ting big­ger - but ev­ery­one is ben­e­fit­ing.

That’s the pic­ture of Aus­tralia’s farm own­er­ship to emerge from a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion by NewsCorp Ru­ral, speak­headed by the Ru­ral Weekly’s sis­ter pa­per The Weekly Times.

We have re­vealed more than 170 farm­ing in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­ra­tions that own more than 900 prop­er­ties across Aus­tralia.

Ir­ri­gated prop­er­ties and citrus and al­mond crops are the hottest tick­ets in town as cor­po­rate heavy­weights bat­tle to grab a slice of the grow­ing agri­cul­ture ex­port mar­ket.

Mean­while, wool prop­er­ties have emerged as a favourite as the fi­bre’s price hits record lev­els.

And as the race to in­crease scale and ca­pac­ity in­ten­si­fies, for­eign, cor­po­rate, and do­mes­tic fam­ily in­ter­ests are pushing ru­ral prop­erty val­ues sky high.

“Farm val­ues would be up at least 20 per cent in the last cou­ple of years,” said David Bryant, manag­ing direc­tor of Ru­ral Funds Group which owns about $687 mil­lion worth of farms and agri­cul­ture as­sets across Queens­land, NSW, Vic­to­ria and South Aus­tralia.

The ad­mis­sion comes as spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion by NewsCorp Ru­ral into who owns the na­tion’s farms shows grow­ing de­mand for ir­ri­gated crop­ping prop­er­ties in south­ern Aus­tralia, par­tic­u­larly along the Mur­rumbidgee and Mur­ray rivers.

“We’ve seen the mar­ket ba­si­cally dou­ble (in re­cent years),” CBRE Agribusi­ness boss Danny Thomas said.

Mr Thomas said among of the hottest crops were al­monds and citrus, with “very, very strong de­mand” for dry and ir­ri­gated row crop­ping.

“There are huge vol­umes of cap­i­tal look­ing for that,” he said.

Mean­while, strong com­mod­ity re­turns are driv­ing re­newed in­ter­est in pas­toral ar­eas, with wool prices and beef ex­ports lift­ing re­turns.

Partly Chi­nese-owned Out­back Beef is Aus­tralia’s big­gest land­holder, with its S Kidman and Co prop­er­ties span­ning more than eight mil­lion hectares, fol­lowed by the listed Aus­tralian Agri­cul­ture Com­pany (seven mil­lion hectares), the North Aus­tralian Pas­toral Com­pany

(6.1 mil­lion hectares) and the UK-owned Con­sol­i­dated Pas­toral Com­pany (5.8 mil­lion hectares).

In­vest­ment com­pa­nies such as Ru­ral Funds and the US-backed TIA-CREF are also build­ing on their out­lays, with port­fo­lios grow­ing to

664,000ha and 235,000ha re­spec­tively.

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