Australia’s second-largest cattle station up for sale

Notwithstanding recent regulation and tax changes, agent Colliers International expects the asset to be coveted by international funds.

Australia’s second-largest cattle station is set to become the latest ag target Down Under for major international funds after being listed for sale.

The Clifton Hills station, located in north-east South Australia and covering 16,510 square kilometers, is being offered on a walk-in, walk-out basis. It currently supports an estimated 18,000 heads of cattle of a variety of breeds and is certified as an organic beef producer.

The property is made up of four pastoral leases and has several water courses running through it, including the Diamantina River and Cooper Creek. The Diamantina River is currently in flood and is one of the property’s major strengths, according to Ben Forrest, associate director, transaction services at agent Colliers International.

“It floods even when there hasn’t been great rainfall, so the property provides a good long-term hedge for an investor against low-rainfall areas,” he told Agri Investor. The Diamantina consistently floods 1,500 square kilometers each year, “creating some of the best cattle-fattening country in the land,” according to Colliers.

Clifton Hills is currently owned by a syndicate of four families and is already attracting interest from significant players, according to Forrest.

“The size of the property means it’s getting interest from large-scale cattle players, and we’ve also seen interest from international funds,” he said.

The property was established in 1876 and its infrastructure includes a central homestead hub, formed roadways, airstrips, 24 sets of steel trucking yards, six flowing bores, and other plant and equipment.

It is being offered for sale via international tender, with submissions closing on August 2. There is no indication on the expected price.

The news comes amid regulatory changes announced earlier this year that call for the sale of large-scale agricultural assets to be advertized first to domestic bidders for a period of 30 days. It also follows tax changes unveiled last week that insiders reckon will further tip the balance against overseas investors.