AA Co sheds off Goonoo portion for $23m

Beef Central, 20/05/2013

The Australian Agricultural Co has sold a 19,400ha dryland farming and grazing portion of its Goonoo aggregation in Central Queensland for $23 million.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning, publicly-listed AA Co has advised of the sale of the Adelong portion of the Goonoo holding to nearby landholder, Comet Downs Cattle Co.

The contract is subject to conditions including the Minister’s consent, regulatory approval and financier approvals. The expected completion date is around June 30.

An AA Co statement said the sale represented a $1.1 million gain over the property’s capital book value, based on a recent independent valuation.

The parcel consists of three adjacent dryland farming and grazing properties – Adalong, Marilla and Rhudanna – within the larger Goonoo aggregation, totalling 19,400ha.

Under the agreement, AA Co will lease back 7800ha of cropping land for five years, and will sell the purchaser 4000 steers at a liveweight price of 164c/kg.

AA Co will retain 8400ha within the Goonoo aggregation, including water licenses, irrigation infrastructure, feedlots and feed mills and capital works.

This morning’s statement said the sale was part of AA Co’s strategy to re-focus its assets and capital in northern Australia, where it is building an abattoir near Darwin to supply the rapidly growing southeast Asian markets.

AA Co managing director David Farley said the Goonoo portion sale was “a good result for this quality rural property.”    

The sale comes on the eve of Wednesday’s attempt to auction a second AA Co grazing property,   420,000ha Brighton Downs station in the Channel Country on the Diamantina River near Winton.

The company says the role Brighton Downs played within its supply chain was now ‘redundant.’

There has been no suggestion that the sales of the Adalong property or Brighton Downs are attempts to raise capital to fund the Darwin project. 

Despite a disappointing financial update filed to ASX a fortnight ago, AA Co says it is determined to press ahead with the Darwin project, approvals for which were being advanced in stages.






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