Gina Rinehart, chairwoman and director of Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and Australia’s richest person, has acquired a 50 percent interest in a joint venture with Dowford Investments, according to a joint statement.
The subjects of the deal are Liveringa and Nerrima Stations in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia. The joint venture will expand and develop the stations’ prime beef production enterprise, and operate under the name LSB.
In addition, LSB has acquired the closed-down Waroona Abattoirs previously known as Clover Meats, which used to be one of the largest meat processing facilities in Western Australia.
Rinehart is already vocal and active in championing agribusiness in her home region of northern Australia, and Hancock explained its motivations for this Western Australian project in the statement.
“[Hancock Prospecting] has invested in the LSB Joint Venture to continue its longstanding role in primary industries including the pastoral industry in Australia,” the statement said. “It intends to provide capital and commercial knowledge to support the industry as it targets expansion into global markets.”
The joint partner Dowford Investments, which is wholly owned by the Laitt family, already operates successful agribusiness enterprises under Milne Agrigroup, including animal feed, pork and chicken production.
In the statement, Graham Laitt, Managing Director of LSB said he was please to have Rinehart’s expertise as part of the venture. “It’s great to have a Western Australian investor with HPPL’s knowledge of and contacts in our target export markets and ability to support LSB strategy with capital.”
He also highlighted the importance of harnessing demand in emerging economies. “The first step for the industry is for it to increase its scale so that it can be a reliable supplier in the emerging export markets.”