Monday, October 24, 2016

Aussie’s Kidman Ranch sold

A group of four families has bid $390 million Cdn for all the shares of S. Kidman & Co., topping an offer of $385 million from billionaire Gina Rinehart and her Chinese business partner for one of Australia’s largest beef producers.

The group, known as BBHO -- an acronym based on the family names of directors Tom Brinkworth, Sterling Buntine, Malcolm Harris and Viv Oldfield -- submitted its proposal to the Kidman board Sunday, Buntine said. Kidman, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is owned by descendants of its founder, “Cattle King” Sidney Kidman, who began in 1899 amassing ranches that made him at one time the world’s largest landholder.

If successful, the transaction will more than triple Kidman’s cattle herd to in excess of 500,000 head through the addition of supplies from the properties owned by the BBHO families, according to an e-mailed statement.

The group is betting Kidman will prefer its all-Australian offer because it won’t need approval from the Australian government.

“The four families comprising the consortium are deeply committed to honoring and preserving the Kidman heritage and brand, which will continue under the stewardship of highly regarded and successful Australian graziers,” Buntine, a spokesman for the group, said in the statement.

The government earlier rejected a bid by foreigners for the Kidman business.