News

Brighton Downs passed-in at auction

Jon Condon, 22/05/2013

Dick AllpassThe Australian Agricultural Co was unable to sell Queensland property Brighton Downs at auction in Brisbane this morning.

Four bidders registered to participate in the auction.

Elders Real Estate auctioneer Dick Allpass opened the bidding with an auctioneer’s bid of $10m.

There was one bid from Peter Britton from Boulia of $10.25m, and the property was passed-in at that price.

AACo had previously sought to sell Brighton Downs at auction in late 2010 when it was passed-in for $12.75m, but that auction included 8000 plus cattle, while 4500 were included in today’s auction.

AACo managing director David Farley said the intended sale of Brighton Downs was part of the company’s strategy to refocus its assets and capital in Northern Australia. A company spokesman this week said Brighton was regarded as ‘non-strategic’ because the class of cattle it has traditionally handled would in future pass through AA Co’s proposed Darwin abattoir.   

Brighton Downs is a 420,000ha station situated on the channels of the Diamantina River near Winton and is principally used for staging and growing company-bred and bought cattle on grass.

The station represents about 6pc of AA Co’s total land holdings.

Brighton Downs was put on the market in 2010 but despite strong interest, offers did not reach AA Co’s expectations.

As reported on Beef Central on Monday, AA Co sold a portion of its Goonoo aggregation near Comet in Central Queensland for $23 million.

The private deal with near neighbour Comet Downs Cattle Co included three adjacent dryland farming and grazing properties – Adalong, Marilla and Rhudanna – within the larger Goonoo aggregation, totalling 19,400ha.

“With our strategy of growing our South East Asian supply chain through our proposed Darwin abattoir, now is the right time to be refocusing on Northern Australia,” David Farley said.

“We are continually assessing which of our assets are appropriate for a business whose operations are increasingly focused in the north.

Brighton Downs is regarded as a ‘very productive’ station and has been owned by AA Co for more than 60 years. It is ideally situated for growing and grass-finishing cattle and has good water supply from the Diamantina River.

“Our intention is that the current station management and staff, who have done an excellent job, will be offered career opportunities within the AA Co group, or the prospect to join the new owner,” Mr Farley said.

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