CPC divestment continues with sale of three cattle stations to Vietnamese group

The Australian company, owned by Terra Firma, further sells down its portfolio in the $97m deal with the little-known investor.

Vietnamese investment group Clean Agriculture and International Tourism has purchased a portfolio of three cattle stations from Consolidated Pastoral Company for A$135 million ($97 million; €84 million).

The portfolio comprises Auvergne and Newry stations in the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory and Argyle Downs station in the East Kimberly region of Western Australia.

The properties collectively span more than 740,000 hectares and have been predominantly used by CPC to breed and grow cattle. The sale includes 52,000 head of cattle as well as plant and equipment on the stations.

Little is known about CAIT other than its country of origin, although Australian media reports indicated it is ultimately owned by agriculture, pharmaceuticals and finance giant TH Group. The deal is one of the largest investments by a Vietnamese company in Australia.

CPC declined to comment on the terms of the deal or the background of the seller. CAIT could not be reached for comment other than a statement from a spokesperson, which said it was considering diversifying into “high-value cropping and other non-pastoral” uses for the properties.

CPC is owned by UK-based private equity firm Terra Firma which has been seeking to sell the Australian company’s assets in their entirety since May 2018. It sold Queensland bullock-fattening station Nockatunga to Cleveland Agriculture last year in the first step of the divestment, which has continued with the sale to CAIT.

CPC chief executive Troy Setter said in a statement that the stations had been sold at a premium to net asset value.

“The remainder of the CPC portfolio is high quality and large scale with over 3.9 million hectares of land across 12 cattle stations, with good geographic diversity as well as a valuable business in Indonesia. The business remains a compelling platform as a whole as well as attractive in parts, and the sale process continues for both of these options,” he said.

Following the sale to CAIT, CPC will own and operate a portfolio of 12 cattle stations with a carrying capacity of more than 325,000 head of cattle across 3.9 million hectares of land in northern Australia. It also holds a 90 percent interest in a joint venture, which owns and operates two feedlots in Indonesia.