Large scale 2.9m ha Kimberley aggregation set to test the market

Beef Central, 09/10/2023


A 2.9 MILLION hectare cattle aggregation in Western Australia’s Kimberley region has come to market, providing a bellwether for extensive northern grazing land prices late in the 2023 season.

The  Kimberley Cattle Portfolio is a collection of six properties running up to 50,000 breeders. It is unique in that it is a pastoral operation that can breed weaner and feeder cattle, but has the option, with further investment, to go to a feedyard production model as well.

The portfolio is being presented for sale via an expressions of interest campaign being managed by LAWD.

The assets are likely to attract large scale corporate, institutional and private domestic and international inquiry, and will inevitably benefit from the recent clearing of uncertainty surrounding Indonesian live export due to LSD concerns.

Beef Central first wrote about the likelihood of a sale of the Kimberley Portfolio in this article published late last year.

The Chinese Hui family’s Archstone Investment Group originally paid around $70 million in 2017 for Western Australia’s Yougawalla aggregation, comprising the 356,000ha Yougawalla, the 273,000ha Bulka and the 214,000ha Margaret River Stations in the east Kimberley, together with about 45,000 head of cattle.

Archstone added nearby Argyle Cattle Co soon afterwards, comprising Moola Bulla and Mt Amhurst, Shamrock and Beefwood Park.

The combined acquisitions created a herd of around 120,000 cattle, with an asset value at the time worth around $180 million.

Today, the Kimberley Cattle Portfolio runs up to 50,000 breeders on more than 2.9 million hectares over country on seven pastoral leases and five sub-leases, as well as an agistment agreement over 153,475ha.

Cattle on Kimberley Portfolio properties

Geographic proximity adds efficiency

The entire land parcel is within a 350km radius with land types ranging from red spinifex to black soil grasslands and river frontage.

Portfolio general manager Haydn Sale said the close geographic proximity of the properties delivered marked management efficiency, supported by execution of an extensive development program.

“This business was essentially built around putting together an aggregation of properties that were close enough to work together to create key efficiencies, with potential to develop in a way that would escalate production,” Mr Sale said.

Over the past seven years, the owners and managers have put in place strategic watering points, fencing, yard, road and accommodation infrastructure to increase carrying capacity and create an entity that does not require management on every property, but can be run from a centralised management group, with teams deployed as needed.

“There is, however, still scope to further grow efficiencies and water development – and again increase the number of stock that can be run across the aggregation,” Mr Sale said.

Water is in abundance throughout the properties, with frontage to the Margaret, Mary and Louisa Rivers plus Christmas Creek, in addition to extensive underground water resources. About 210ha have been developed under centre pivot irrigation with approval for an additional 294ha, underpinned by a 9500ML irrigation licence on Shamrock Station from the Broome Sandstone aquifer.

This is currently used to produce Rhodes grass hay to supply fodder and weaner hay to the broader property group.

“The aggregation is unique in that it is a pastoral operation that can breed weaner and feeder cattle, but has the option, with further investment, to go to a feedyard production model as well,” Mr Sale said.

“The beauty is that everywhere we go we can find good water. This, combined with the reliability of the Kimberley region wet season, has allowed us to carry a significant number of cattle.”

LAWD senior director Danny Thomas said the Kimberley Cattle Portfolio was unique in its scale and ability to service a diversity of livestock markets.

“This aggregation is special in that the buyer can breed, background and finish, and the owners have done an excellent job in putting together a significant landholding that can be run as a single entity, including irrigated land to finish stock,” Mr Thomas said.

“It is rare to find a property in the region at this scale that can so easily pivot between live export to the north and the southern markets.”

Expressions of Interest close on 9 November.





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  1. John warnock, 16/10/2023

    Wonderful to see our vast state being used to the full advatage

  2. Michael Vail, 09/10/2023

    Nice ! Under the current circumstances, this sale of scale and position will certainly test the market’s appetite for risk …

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