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Australia approves sale of S Kidman & Co

All Australian regulatory approvals have been met for the A$386.5 million sale of S Kidman & Co to the joint venture company Australian Outback Beef.

All Australian regulatory approvals have been met for the A$386.5 million ($287.9 million; €$271.8) sale of S Kidman & Co to the joint venture company Australian Outback Beef (AOB).

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has approved the deal, all parties have welcomed the sale, and 99 percent of Kidman shareholders have accepted the offer, according to a statement from the firm.

AOB is a consortium owned 67 percent by Hancock Prospecting Pty Lt — owned by oil magnate and Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart — and 33 percent by Shanghai CRED Real Estate Stock Co Ltd.

In late October AOB upped its bid by A$500,000 to reach A$386.5 million, forcing the withdrawal of a competing A$386 million bid from an all-Australian BBHO consortium.

In April, Morrison had turned down a A$371 million bid from Chinese dairy giant Shanghai Pengxin’s Australian interest, Dakang Australia, which attempted to buy Kidman for A$371 million along with Australian Rural Capital and Shanghai CRED.

Kidman is one of Australia’s largest beef producers, with pastoral leases covering 101,000 sq kilometres across South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland.

The portfolio consists of 19 individual properties operated as 12 enterprises: 10 cattle stations, a bull breeding stud farm and a feedlot.

Kidman managing director Greg Campbell noted in the statement that AOB will keep the Kidman head office in Adelaide, “ensuring the jobs of Kidman’s hard working employees are safe”.

Prior to the final sale, Kidman will divest the Anna Creek and The Peake stations to neighbouring pastoralists, Williams Pastoral Holdings, reducing the land area AOB purchases to 77,700 sq kilometres.