Tanumbirini fails to arouse interest

Jon Condon, 20/05/2011

Lack of certainty about future live export trade opportunities into Indonesia has been suggested as a key reason for a disappointing result for large-scale Northern Territory cattle property Tanumbirini, passed in on a vendor’s bid of $30 million on Friday.

The 5000sq km breeding and backgrounding block on the western edge of the Barkly Tableland was  offered with about 30,000 mixed Brahman cattle by vendor, Stirling Buntine’s Baldy Bay Pty Ltd.

Mr Buntine paid $38m for the property on a rising, live export boom-fuelled market back in 2006, at the height of his property acquisition period during his engagement with Great Southern Plantations.

Located about 400km southeast of Katherine, Tanumbirini represents a mix of forest and open downs type country, currently enjoying the benefits of a great season.

Applying an arbitrary value of $500 a head for the Brahman stock included in the deal would value the animal component at $15m. At $460 a head, the stock value comes back to $13.8m.

That would value the property bare of stock, based on the vendor’s bid, at $15m, or $30/ha.

Discussions were continuing with interested parties after the auction.

There was no sign of bidding interest from near neighbours, discussed in the earlier preview published on Beef Central.

Sole agent Ray White Rural fielded significant inquiry converting into solid inspections leading up to today’s auction in Brisbane. At least two foreign entities, one European-based, showed interest in the holding.

Recent media speculation has focussed on prospects for a play for the property by Macquarie Pastoral Fund’s Paraway Pastoral Co, which owns Walhallow Station to the south east of Tanumbirini.

Valuers and other analysts were watching the sale process carefully, because there have been very few sizeable NT properties sold recently on which to gauge values to the pre-price drop era.

The offering of Tanumbirini follows a major sell-off of assets by Baldy Bay over the last two years, including Amburla, near Alice Springs, sold recently for $6 million; Alambie, Inverness near Blackall, $14m; and Tobermorey and Linda Downs west of Boulia, sold for $17.5 million.

Vendor, Stirling Buntine chose not to comment after Friday's outcome.


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