Katter says he “smells a rat” in Kidman sale process

James Nason, 13/10/2016

Federal member for Kennedy Bob Katter has weighed into the S. Kidman & Co sale debate, holding a media conference to declare he “smells a rat” over the handling of the sale process.

As has been widely reported in recent days, the long-running Kidman sale process appears close to a final result with the Kidman Board publicly welcoming a joint bid on Sunday by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Pty Ltd and China’s Shanghai CRED to buy the iconic cattle company.

However, the presence of a rival bid involving four large-scale Australian landowners, who had been quietly negotiating to buy Kidman since June, has come to light following Sunday’s announcement of the Hancock/Shanghai CRED deal.

It is understood the Hancock/Shanghai CRED deal has been granted “exclusive” status under its formal Bid Implementation Agreement (BIA) launched on Sunday.

The Katter Australia Party leader, who has often spoken against sales of agricultural land to foreign buyers, said he believes the fully Australian owned bid has not been treated fairly.

The Australian bid would effectively see the Kidman land holdings “broken up” and distributed to each of the four syndicate partners, who already each have significant pastoral assets. However, the famous SK brand would continue, backed by the combined supply of some 600,000 cattle from the four syndicate partners Tom Brinkworth, Sterling Buntine, Malcolm Harris and Viv Oldfield.

The bid would also see the large Anna Creek station included in the sale.

The Hancock/Shanghai CRED deal is still subject to a range of conditions, including the divestment of Anna Creek, and approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, State and Territory Governments and the Chinese Government.

Mr Katter’s view is that the four hands-on Australian landholders would have no need of the S. Kidman & Co management board or executive team, which he sees as a reason why the bid does not have its support.

“There is another offer on the table for Kidman that is significant and competitive, and we are informed they have made the largest offer,” Mr Katter said.

“I have been speaking to one of the principals and they are curious as to why they have made a bigger offer than Gina’s and they’re not even allowed to inspect the property.

“To my knowledge Gina has no experience in cattle. Her father owned a cattle station but that was a long time ago and why she suddenly has this great interest in cattle and has come forward with a Chinese partner?

Mr Katter said the Federal Government must provide an undertaking that the majority share of the Hancock Prospecting Pty ltd does not switch to Shanghai CRED in due course.

“I think every Australian believes that is exactly what is happening,” he said.

“Does anyone seriously think that Shanghai CRED with its parent company having put in a bid for the whole lot they’re going to settle for a third?

“And why would the Kidman board pass up a superior offer by a group of the most highly respected Australians.

“Today in Parliament I reintroduced my Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Amendment (Strategic Assets) Bill 2016. It seeks to prevent foreign companies from acquiring a 10 per cent or greater interest in Australian land, water or other assets that are either of “strategic economic importance” or “strategic defensive importance” to Australia (i.e. the Kidman holdings).

“When you’ve been a Member of Parliament for 42 years you can smell a rat from a mile away and this rat is very, very smelly indeed.”


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Sue Radnedge, 24/10/2016

    Saddly it could be held for a year…then sold off in house. ..without public knowledge.
    Companies world wide know the loop holes.

  2. Peter Howarth, 15/10/2016

    I have no doubt that the experienced Aussie syndicate will do a far better job managing the Kidman properties and they will remain 100% Australian owned. Maybe the rat which Katter smells has something to do with iron ore !!

  3. Edgar Burnett, 14/10/2016

    Well Diana, if you are so knowledgeable, put YOUR money where YOUR mouth is – you have had 18 months as well – maybe you would have to do what Gina intends to do – take in a Chinese partner.

  4. Diana Williams, 14/10/2016

    What crap – Bob doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Gina is a great and patriotic Australian. If Bob doesn’t like her buying it he should cough up the money to buy it – he’s had 18 months!!!

  5. Rob Grummitt, 14/10/2016

    I believe it should stay in (all Australian hands).

  6. John Crerar, 14/10/2016

    I believe you are right on the money. The sale process of such a large parcel of Australian land should be made fully transparent to the elected government of the day. Mr Katter, keep your hat on, your nostrils wide open and make you concerns heard loud and clear.

  7. Edgar Burnett, 13/10/2016

    Yes and as a general rule, “the hat” is not as silly as the media strive to portray him to be – the LNP have been trying to get rid of him for many Elections now and so far they have not been able to do so. And why? – because he is a man of the Aussie people who all MPs are supposed to be!

  8. Edgar Burnett, 13/10/2016

    Let’s all remember what happened with the sale of AMP’s Stanbroke Pastoral: The moneyed men who owned it had such little idea of what it was worth that they sold it for a song to one Australian party who subsequently broke it all up and sold the parcels to various “Little Aussie Battlers”, making a handsome profit for a few week’s work..

    Why doesn’t the Government INSIST that the Kidman Empire be broken up and sold to these Australian Interests instead of kowtowing to a large miner and its mates in China.(No wonder that the AMP share price is where it is!)

  9. Geoff Donovan, 13/10/2016

    I agree with the “White Hat” also, and I haven’t been in Parliament.!

  10. Peter Vincent, 13/10/2016

    It’s not often I agree with “the hat” but on this occasion I think he may be spot-on.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -