SYDNEY Oct 20 Four of Australia's wealthiest
outback cattle families plan to lodge the first entirely
domestic offer to buy S.Kidman and Co, the country's largest
private land holding, for A$385 million ($297.22 million), one
of the quartet told Australian Broadcasting Corp on Thursday.
The bid by the BBHO syndicate would be higher than the A$365
million joint offer by Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart
and Chinese developer Shanghai CRED that was agreed by Kidman
earlier this month.
The sale of Kidman, which runs cattle and pastoral
activities on tracts of land the size of South Korea, has been a
lightening rod for concerns about the sale of Australian
agriculture assets to foreign investors.
The Australian government has twice rejected foreign offers
for Kidman, including a previous bid by Shanghai CRED Real
Estate and China's Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming Co Ltd
that had a minority Australian interest. Domestic
ownership of agriculture is seen as crucial for Australia to
cash in on global food demand and to keep tax revenues onshore.
Unlike Rinehart and Shanghai CRED's offer, the BBHO offer
for the landholding, will not require Australian foreign
"We intend to put a bid that will be absolutely competitive
(and unconditional)," West Australian and Northern Territory
pastoralist Sterling Buntine, a member of the BBHO syndicate,
told the ABC.
"It will be more than what the current bid is on the table
and we would expect the Kidman board to treat it with due
Kidman chief executive Greg Campbell did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.
The Kidman board is required to consider any offer that is
superior to the one on the table, but the Rinehart group would
have a right to match any rival bid should it gain foreign
BBHO will bid for the entire Kidman business, including the
defence-sensitive Anna Creek Station, near the Woomera
weapons-testing range. The Rinehart-Shanghai CRED offer excludes
Anna Creek after it was cited by the government as a security
($1 = 1.2953 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Swati Pandey. Editing by Jane Wardell and David