EXTENSIVE Central Australian cattle breeding and growing property Idracowra has been bought prior to auction by local Alice Springs district beef producer interests, ending 12 years of foreign ownership.
The 462,800 hectare pastoral lease located 120km south of Alice Springs was placed under contract by marketing agents JLL Agribusiness late last week, ahead of a proposed auction on September 6.
Observers suggested the buyer evidently wanted to place a competitive offer in advance, to avoid competitive tension at auction.
Neither the buyer nor the price were disclosed, but the buyer is understood to be a local cattle identity. Both Viv Oldfield and Tony Davis, who own adjoining or nearby country, have been ruled out as buyers.
Vendor was an offshore company called Shoujaa, owned by Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nayhan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. He bought Idracowra around the top of the previous market cycle in 2007, paying about $7.2 million, including 3000 cattle. His other investments in Australia include shopping centres, but the Sheik has decided to exit his cattle interests.
Idracowra was marketed this time with a reserve of $7 million, walk-in, walk out. A similar number of cattle were included in the current sale. While currently very dry, the property has a normal carrying capacity of around 7500 adult equivalents.
The country is underpinned by undulating sandhills, open grass plains, spinifex ridges and areas of bluebush and low edible mulga. Pastures include spear and various summer grasses along with areas of spinifex. Edible herbages along with bluebush and extensive stands of parakeelya are evident following seasonal rain.
“This substantial landholding has been progressively developed to represent an efficient, low-cost pastoral enterprise supplying livestock primarily to southern domestic markets,” Chris Holgar from JLL said during the marketing phase.
Large portions on the property’s southern and eastern side remain undeveloped. As such, a tangible opportunity exists for future development resulting in expansion of the current grazing operation.
The Finke River, which runs through the northern portion of the property for 90km, provides semi-permanent and permanent waterholes. Areas beside the river are fertile and provide exceptional pasture during favourable seasonal conditions.
Idracowra’s location close to the Stuart Highway provided good access to Alice Springs and end-markets in the south, or for live export via Darwin.
Trend swings back towards domestic ownership
The Idracowra sale follows a strong recent tend reported by Beef Central, where former foreign-owned grazing properties have returned to Australian domestic hands. Click here to view earlier story.
Other recent examples include the $24 million sale of 1800ha Aberfeldy, near Holbrook, bought by TA Field Estates, from First Australian Farmland, whose major shareholder is Swedish pension fund giant Första AP-fonden.
- Handling the Idracowra sale were Geoff Warriner and Chris Holgar from JLL Agribusiness.