Property

Movement at the station: recent property listings

Property editor Linda Rowley, August 14, 2019

Chinese businessman Xingfa Ma is offloading the 705,000ha Wollogorang and Wentworth cattle stations in the Gulf of Carpentaria, after just four years of ownership.

THIS week’s property review includes this wrap-up of interesting recent listings across the country, and a separate article of recently completed sales of note.

  • Chinese-owned NT cattle stations return to the market
  • First class Cootamundra agricultural investment
  • Prized country in southern NSW
  • Riverina powerhourse Gundaline presents well, after rain
  • QLD’s Clark & Tait portfolio on the market after 120 years

Chinese-owned NT cattle stations return to the market

Wealthy Chinese businessman Xingfa Ma is offloading the large-scale Wollogorang and Wentworth cattle stations in the Gulf of Carpentaria, after just four years of ownership.

In July 2015, the founder and chairman of the Tianma Bearings Group paid a surprising $47 million for the 705,198ha leasehold and crown pastoral lease properties, including 40,000 head of cattle. Many viewed it as the Australian pastoral property ‘sale of the year’ at the time.

Straddling the Northern Territory and Queensland border facing the Gulf, the operation comprises the 576,198ha Wollogorang to the west of the border, and the adjoining 129,000ha Wentworth station to the east.

Mr Ma, in 2014 established an Australian subsidiary, TBG Agri Holdings, that went on to purchase other Australian pastoral assets, paying between $18m and $20m for one of Western Australia’s top cattle stations, the 6395sq km Balfour Downs and Wandanya in the Pilbara, including 15,000 head of cattle.

Xingfa Ma also owns the 8000ha Emu Downs Station at Cervantes and the Great Southern’s Ferngrove Vineyards in Western Australia.

Wollogorang and Wentworth, which enjoy 80km of coastline, have been extensively upgraded since 2015 with yards and infrastructure. There has been no progress on earlier post-sale talk of a possible aquaculture development. The reason for offering the property for sale was a ‘change of direction’ within the business, Beef Central was told.

Mr Ma’s decision to sell follows a recent trend in foreign owners exiting their Australian grazing land assets, explored in this earlier Weekly Property Review article.

The holdings are being sold through Ray White Rural on a walk-in walk out basis with 30,000 head of Brahman cattle and comprehensive station plant. Expressions of interest close on September 25.

First class Cootamundra agricultural investment

Prospective buyers will have to dig deep to secure one of the most historic rural holdings in the highly-regarded Cootamundra district of southern New South Wales.

With expectations of $27-$32 million, Gilgal comprises three contiguous properties – 1552ha Gilgal, 1725ha Winona and 340ha O’Connors.

Located 11km south of Cootamundra and 83km from Wagga Wagga, Gilgal is already attracting strong interest from large corporates and family farming groups, just days after the marketing campaign began.

Five generations of the Ward family, who settled in the district in 1865, have been caretakers of Gilgal. A feature is the original homestead which was built around 1870 and has been beautifully renovated and extended.

Extensively developed, the mixed farming enterprise produces prime lambs, Angus cattle and grows annual cash and dual-purpose fodder crops.

The country ranges from soft friable red loams to brown granites.

Gilgal can carry 8000 composite ewes producing 10,000 to 12,000 prime lambs annually, in addition to 350 breeding cows and followers. This equates to 34,000 to 38,000 dry sheep equivalents in average seasons, along with dual purpose cropping activities.

Water is a feature with the holding equipped with two bores, a well, several creek systems, including Cunjegong Creek, and a network of elevated tanks reticulating to troughs.

In total, the holding has some 86 surface dams, some of which are spring fed.

Sam Triggs from Inglis Rural Property said Gilgal is being offered for sale via expressions of interest – as a whole or separately – making it make it more viable for medium size operations to participate.

Offers close on September 25. High quality genetics (composite sheep flock and Angus cows) livestock, plant and machinery will be available by negotiation.

With expectations of $29-$32 million, Gilgal comprises three contiguous properties – 1552ha Gilgal, 1725ha Winona and 340ha O’Connors.

Prized country in southern New South Wales

Highly productive grazing and mixed farming land is being offered for sale in New South Wales’ renowned Kyeamba Valley.

The 818ha Ascot is located 40km south east of Wagga Wagga and 56km north east of Holbrook.

It forms part of a larger holding owned by Russell Clark and family. It is understood an adjoining 1200ha block is also available (off market) from another vendor that could take that holding to 2000ha.

The current management on Ascot encompasses a beef cattle herd and a dual-purpose sheep enterprise, producing medium micron Merino wool and crossbred lambs.

Grazing cereals, brasica fodder crops, improved and native perennial grass and clover pastures combined with a comprehensive fertiliser history underpins the 8600 dry sheep equivalent rating (10.3DSE/ha).

Water is secured by frontage to the permanent Teatree Creek, 32 dams including a six Megalitre storage dam, two bores and a well.

Ascot is for sale by expressions of interest through CBRE closing on September 12.

The current management on Ascot encompasses a beef cattle herd and a dual-purpose sheep enterprise, producing medium micron Merino wool and crossbred lambs.

Riverina powerhourse Gundaline presents well, after rain

CBRE is also seeking EOIs for the winter breeding and finishing powerhouse Gundaline in New South Wales’ prized Riverina.

Located 12km south-west of Cootamundra and 68km north-east of Wagga Wagga, Gundaline spans 772ha and consists of 247ha grazing canola, 194ha oats/rye grass, 56ha oats and 272ha perennial native grass and clover pastures.

Previously, the property ran 400 breeders plus progeny. Today, it is running 1000 trade cattle and 500 Merino ewes joined to terminal sires.

Gundaline features a full suite of improvements including a four-stand shearing shed, steel sheep yards, steel cattle yards, workshop, two machinery sheds and 260 tonnes of silo grain storage.

It is watered by 28 dams with extensive catchments and storage capacities which provide reliable stock water.

Selling agent Col Medway says Gundaline has a biodiversity stewardship agreement currently under consideration.

“The property has native timber that could be an environmental offset. This would provide a significant passive income stream available to any incoming buyer,” he said.

Gundaline is owned by Brian and Geraldine Ryan who are genuine retiring vendors. EOIs close on September 05.

Mr Medway said there had been sound enquiry for both properties after 20mm of rain.

“They are presenting very well and have feed. Inquiry has come from grass hungry producers, especially northern cattle breeders seeking to maintain their numbers.”

Gundaline features a full suite of improvements including a four-stand shearing shed, steel sheep yards, steel cattle yards, workshop, two machinery sheds and 260 tonnes of silo grain storage.

QLD’s Clark & Tait portfolio on the market after 120 years

As mentioned in this earlier article, a portfolio of seven outstanding Queensland grazing properties is being offered to the market by Bentleys International Advisory.

After 121 years, Clark & Tait – one of the oldest remaining multi-family grazing partnerships in Australia – will be dissolved.

The seven rural aggregations span 535,000ha across the western districts of Central Queensland and jointly carry 53,000 head of cattle (adult equivalent basis) in normal seasons or 46,550AE and 68,000 DSE.

They are currently operating as separate going concern enterprises and are being offered for sale on a walk-in-walk-out basis. They include:

  • 133,744ha Mantuan Downs, Springsure – a large scale cattle breeding & fattening property.
  • 135,200ha Enniskillen, Blackall – a large scale cattle breeding & fattening property.
  • 46,735ha Barcaldine Downs, Barcaldine – a large scale sheep breeding (including a merino sheep stud) property.
  • 55,800ha Hobartville, Alpha – a cattle breeding & backgrounding property.
  • 48,408ha Boongoondoo, Jericho – a cattle breeding & backgrounding property.
  • 45,163ha Powella, Aramac – a cattle &/or sheep breeding & backgrounding property.
  • 68,370ha Bimerah, Longreach – a cattle &/or sheep backgrounding property.

The seven rural aggregations comprising Clark & Tait span 535,000ha across the western districts of Central Queensland and jointly carry 53,000 head of cattle

Ben Cameron from Bentleys said interested parties can seek the particulars of the formal sales process at www.clarkandtaitpropertysales.com.au.

The transaction is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2020.

 

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