Property

Swiss buyer claims Gulf country’s Neumayer Valley for $40m+

Jon Condon, 07/05/2016

Neumayer Valley 1

 

A SWISS investor has made a successful pre-auction offer for large Northwest Queensland breeding property, Neumayer Valley, in a deal Beef Central understands to have topped $41 million.

The buyers are understood to be connected with the Pilatus aircraft manufacturing company based in Stans, Switzerland, which lists several large Australian cattle industry stakeholders among its customers for its high-performance turbine-driven, pressurised aircraft.

The Swiss company is understood to own at least one other Australian agricultural landholding, a 3000ha property in Victoria, but this is its first investment in northern Australia’s extensive cattle industry.

Neumayer Valley, a 143,000 ha breeding and growing property about 120km south west of Normanton, was placed on the market in March by owner, Australian Pastoral Group. APG purchased the station three years ago, while the northern industry was still in recovery mode from the 2011 live export closure, from Queensland businessman and live exporter Syd Faithful for about $30 million.

The fact that a pre-auction deal has been struck well in advance of the intended auction date of 25 May suggests there may have been an element of competitive tension emerging for the property. The suggested $41.5 million pricetag is regarded as ‘very competive’ in the current market among well-informed onlookers.

There have been at least five inspections of Neumeyer Valley since it came on the market, including corporates and large Central Queensland private operators. A Malaysian party also showed interest.

Paraway Pastoral Co, which operates nearby Armraynald and Gregory Downs, showed earlier interest, while the Menegazzo family’s Stanbroke Pastoral Co operates Donors Hill and Augustus Downs, which adjoin Neumayer to the south.

All this may have prompted the Swiss interests to mount an attractive bid before a bidding war could arise at auction, onlookers suggest.

The deal is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

One of the Australian pastoral company-owned Pilatus PC12 aircraft on the ground at Rockhampton airport.

One of the Australian pastoral company-owned Pilatus PC12 aircraft, VH-MDH, on the ground at Rockhampton airport.

The sale of Neumayer Valley is the latest in a series of large cattle transactions to foreign investors in Queensland’s Gulf region over the past nine months:

  • In July last year, Chinese industrialist Zingfa Ma paid an unheralded $47 million for Wollogorang Station, west of Burketown, including 80km of Gulf of Carpentaria coastline.
  • Esmeralda Station near Croydon was sold in February to Gunn Agri Fund, understood to be funded by European institutional interests, for a price around $40 million. Gunn Agri has not yet disclosed the origin of its financial backing.

With about 60 percent of Neumayer Valley being good quality downs country, and supporting an excellent Brahman herd numbering around 15,700 head, it is regarded as a significantly better grazing property than either Wollogorang or Esmeralda. The holding features an abundant natural waters including a single frontage to the Leichhardt River on the western boundary and double frontage to the Alexandra River which includes a permanent 19km long waterhole at the homestead.

APC sells three holdings

Neumayer Valley is one of three choice cattle land assets currently being sold currently by Australian Pastoral Group.

APG has already sold Kinbeachie aggregation at Goondiwindi to the Cargill-owned entity, One Tree Investments.

APG is also in the process of selling the noted southern NSW property Deltroit Station at Gundagai through an expressions of interest process, closing on May 19. Deltroit was purchased in 2013 by APG for $15.5m from former Lumley Insurance chairman Anthony Crichton-Brown.

APG was founded in 2012 by former Macquarie Pastoral Services managing director Alan Hayes, buying $45m worth of rural property during 2013. It’s understood there are four institutional investors backing APG, including the Michigan-based Municipal Employees’ Retirement System and a fund based in Switzerland.

APG was not prepared to offer a reason for the dispersal of the properties, beyond using the term, ‘opportunistic market timing.’

  • Agents for the Neumayer sale were Dick Allpass and Lorin Bishop from Elders.

 

 

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  1. Norma Condon, 16/07/2020

    My son Glen Pryce is travelling around up there and is at Bloomfield today. Abt 20 yrs ago he built a house at Cape Tribulation and lived there a while. Then he went to Townsville where our family came to from Ireland in 1862 County Cork and my father was Edward Condon Snr Ted they called him. He was fireman/mechanic Tville Fire Brigade 1920/1965 died at 93 yrs old in 1993. His dad William Condon a grazier and bullock teamster brought giant trees back to Tvl in 1909 & my dad walked with his brothers along the dirt track to Atherton Tablelands to build Tvl. Then grandfather William so my dad’s story was told to me & I am nearly 80 now was that William had a brother I think named John near the gulf of carpentaria where tin mines were & took draught horses wagon of groceries up there early 1900s and brought tin back to Tvl. I have heard that Mike Condon who seems to have retired Brisbane police where he was Assist Commissioner a few years ago and he is from the John Condon family from the Gulf and my grandfathers brother. So was this Neumayer Valley cattle property sold to Swiss ever Condon property. My son actually owns a lot of property in southern Phillipines here he has a 3 storey house and beautiful wife etc. He did own a lot of property in Brisbane and Gladstone but sold that to retire at 56. At the moment he was working up top WA as an environmental scientist and was due to go home to Phillipines when the international flights just shut down and he is travelling around Qld and visiting his son and Tvl Condon family while waiting to have a 3rd try at flying home to Phillipines from Brisbane next month. Can’t get into Phi at the moment closed to all international flights since start March. But I said I saw Condons on a documentary cpl years ago and I said go and visit and see if related to us. Where he was working near Port Hedland up top WA that town was named Condon by some of our rellies and washed away at mouth of De Grey river and moved town inland and changed name to Port Hedland, when my last brother died at 92 a few years ago called Condon when he was at school. I am very interested in just saying hello to rellies. I went with my daughter back to County Cork Ireland to see the Clogleigh Castle our family had from 1541 to 1672 taken by Queen Eliz 1 and lots Condons still there. We originally came from Norway as Vikings and Raymundus de Cauntenon royalty built castle at De Cauntenon in Normandy France and went to Ireland in early 1500’s. Changed the name to the Gaellic in County Cork Ireland so we are related to all Condons around the World. Heaps everywhere USA and all around the world, and even in Victoria heaps everywhere, came Ballarat for the gold rush here in 1838 onwards. So I was just interested to see your name, and I know this is an old advertisement, but if you could take time please answer my email and say if any Condons still live in the area. I think my son will be turning around after Cooktown and heading back to Brisbane inland route for plane next month as he has just spent about 6 weeks or so travelling up Queensland coast. Thank you, and my family are interested in family history so please answer by email if you can let me know if you are from Mike Condons family. Bye and look forward to hearing from you. Norma Jean Condon from Townsville but now living in Ballarat after 7 yrs in Melbourne.

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