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Australia Approves Sale of Kidman Cattle Ranch Empire to Rinehart and Shanghai Cred

Australia Approves Sale of Kidman Cattle Ranch Empire to Rinehart and Shanghai Cred

The buyers offered to pay $365 million Australian dollars (US$277 million), as reported by ExitHub in October.. Kidman is Australia’s largest private land owner and holds approximately 1.3 per cent of Australia’s total land area, and 2.5 per cent of Australia’s agricultural land. Of this, 99.8 per cent of Kidman land is held under leasehold arrangements. It has 10 cattle stations, including properties across regional South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland covering 101,411 square kilometers and managing a long-term average herd of 185,000 cattle. This is a significantly larger than the next biggest rural landholding in the country. The company was founded in 1899 by Sir Sidney Kidman and has continued to date as a family owned company under the control of his descendants. Within Kidman’s property portfolio there are 19 individual properties operated as 12 enterprises, including ten cattle stations, a bull breeding stud farm and a feedlot. “Currently Kidman is 33.9 per cent foreign owned. With the sale of Anna Creek and The Peake, the proposal I am approving today represents a significant increase in overall Australian ownership from 66.1 per cent to 74.7 per cent,” Morrison said. Under the proposal the largest station in the Kidman group, Anna Creek and its outstation The Peake, will be acquired by the Williams Family, a local farming family with properties that adjoin Anna Creek. Australian-owned Hancock will control the Board, and will control day-to-day operation of the business. Kidman will remain majority Australian owned under this proposal, and remain an Australian incorporated company headquartered in South Australia. Existing environmental and other commitments will continue to be honoured. Outback Beef has made a commitment of significant investments into the Kidman business. Outback Beef will increase herd size by 20,000 head of cattle over the next 18 months. Outback Beef has indicated it will invest up to $19 million in capital improvements to increase efficiency and carrying capacity. Importantly this investment will also achieve the creation of 35 new full-time permanent jobs by June 2018 while also employing many more new contractors and short terms specialists. This increased employment will be met by engaging local populations as far as possible, including Indigenous employees. More than 600 interested parties have held discussions with sale manager Ernst & Young since the iconic Kidman landholding went on sale almost 18 months ago. Shanghai Cred was part of a consortium that failed to acquire Kidman in an earlier bid. “Kidman is an iconic cattle business established more than a century ago by Sir Sidney Kidman. It is an operation founded on hard work and perseverance by an outstanding Australian, and is an important part of Australia’s pioneering and entrepreneurial history,” said Gina Rinehart, chairman of the Hancock group, a privately owned mineral and exploration company founded by her father Lang Hancock in 1955. The Hancock family started their first cattle station in North West Australia, and founded the first port in the area at Cossack on the West Pilbara Coast to enable the cattle trade. In 2012, Business Review Weekly (BRW) claimed Rinehart was the world’s richest woman, surpassing Wal-Mart owner Christy Walton. Forbes Asia estimated Reinhart’s wealth in 2015 at US$12.3 billion. “The quality of the Kidman herd and channel country properties complement Hancock’s existing northern cattle properties, and align well with Mrs Rinehart’s plans to build a diversified cattle holding in Australia, taking advantage of integration opportunities,” said Garry Korte, CEO of Hancock. Chinese property tycoon Gui Guojie, chairman of Shanghai CRED, said that partnering with leading local business Hancock had “already proved to be a productive approach.” “We welcome the significant investment proposed in addition to the purchase price and are confident that the Kidman business will be in good hands,” said Kidman chairman John Crosby. Hancock Prospecting is an Australian company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral resources for over 50 years. The group’s headquarters are located in the company’s building “HPPL House” in Perth, Western Australia, with a representative office established in Brisbane and exploration camps located in the Pilbara. Hancock’s activities have focused predominately on the development of its iron ore portfolio in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and adding to that portfolio, such as Roy Hill, where the company has substantial investments. Hancock also holds tenements in Queensland where significant resources of thermal coal have been identified. During 2007 Hancock formed the Jacaranda Alliance Joint Venture with a company established by former group executives of CRA / Rio Tinto to explore for minerals and petroleum in Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and South East Asia. This venture took Hancock into prospects in uranium, molybedenum, lead / zinc, gold, diamonds and petroleum. Shanghai CRED was founded in 1999 and is based in Shanghai, China. As a top tier real estate enterprise qualified by China’s Ministry of Construction, and with an abundance of land reserves, its total assets have reportedly reached 16.3 billion RMB in 2016. The company has reportedly developed more than 50 projects in China including the high-end Bellewood Villas in Shanghai, and sold a 110 apartment development in Shanghai to US private equity firm Carlyle Group for $120 million in 2006. Shanghai CRED acquired the Peppers Carrington golf resort near Auckland, New Zealand, in 2011, and is said to have amassed a significant agricultural portfolio across Australia. Photo: Gina Rinehart, Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Pty.]]>

Bayer $BAYN and Monsanto $MON to Merge Creating $66B Global Agri-Chem Leader

Bayer $BAYN and Monsanto $MON to Merge Creating $66B Global Agri-Chem Leader

Bayer’s original offer in May of $122 a share. The merger will create a global agriculture leader, while reinforcing Bayer as a Life Science company with a deepened position in a long-term growth industry. Bayer expects annual earnings contributions from total synergies of approximately $1.5 billion after year three. “We are pleased to announce the combination of our two great organizations. This represents a major step forward for our Crop Science business and reinforces Bayer’s leadership position as a global innovation driven Life Science company with leadership positions in its core segments, delivering substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large,” said Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG. “Today’s announcement is a testament to everything we’ve achieved and the value that we have created for our stakeholders at Monsanto. We believe that this combination with Bayer represents the most compelling value for our shareowners, with the most certainty through the all-cash consideration,” said Hugh Grant, chairman and chief executive of Monsanto. This transaction would bring together leading Seeds & Traits, Crop Protection, Biologics, and Digital Farming platforms. Specifically, the combined business would benefit from Monsanto’s leadership in Seeds & Traits and Bayer’s broad Crop Protection product line across a comprehensive range of indications and crops. The combination would also be truly complementary from a geographic perspective, significantly expanding Bayer’s long-standing presence in the Americas and its position in Europe and Asia/Pacific. Customers of both companies would benefit from the broad product portfolio and the deep R&D pipeline. Under the proposed transaction, the combined business would provide attractive opportunities for the employees of both companies and have its global Seeds & Traits and North American commercial headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, its global Crop Protection and divisional Crop Science headquarters in Monheim, Germany, and an important presence in Durham, North Carolina, as well as many other locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. Digital Farming for the combined business would be based near San Francisco, California. Bayer intends to finance the transaction with a combination of debt and equity. The equity component of approximately USD 19 billion is expected to be raised through an issuance of mandatory convertible bonds and through a rights issue with subscription rights. Bridge financing for USD 57 billion is committed by BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and JP Morgan. The combined agriculture business will have its global Seeds & Traits and North American commercial headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, its global Crop Protection and overall Crop Science headquarters in Monheim, Germany, and an important presence in Durham, North Carolina, as well as many other locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. The Digital Farming activities for the combined business will be based in San Francisco, California. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including Monsanto shareholder approval of the merger agreement and receipt of required regulatory approvals. Closing is expected by the end of 2017. BofA Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse are acting as lead financial advisors and structuring banks to Bayer in addition to providing committed financing for the transaction; Rothschild has been retained as an additional financial advisor to Bayer. Bayer’s legal advisors are Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (M&A) and Allen & Overy LLP (Financing). Morgan Stanley & Co. and Ducera Partners are acting as financial advisors, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor to Monsanto. Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. Bayer AG was founded in 1863 and is headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany. Monsanto provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. The Seeds and Genomics segment produces raw crop seeds, including corn, soybean, cotton, and canola seeds under the DEKALB, Channel, Asgrow, and Deltapine brands; and vegetable seeds, such as tomato, pepper, melon, cucumber, squash, beans, broccoli, onions, lettuce, and others under the Seminis and De Ruiter brands. It also develops biotechnology traits that assist farmers in controlling insects and weeds in corn, soybean, cotton, and canola crops under the SmartStax, YieldGard, YieldGard VT Triple, VT Triple PRO, and VT Double PRO brands; and Intacta RR2 PRO, and Bollgard and Bollgard II, as well as Roundup Ready and Roundup Ready 2 Yield, and Genuity brands. This segment also licenses a range of germplasm and trait technologies to large and small seed companies. The Agricultural Productivity segment manufactures and sells herbicides for agricultural, industrial, ornamental, turf, and residential lawn and garden applications for weed control, as well as for control of preemergent annual grass and small seeded broadleaf weeds in corn and other crops under the Roundup and Harness brands. The company markets its products through distributors, independent retailers and dealers, agricultural cooperatives, plant raisers, and agents, as well as directly to farmers. Monsanto Company has a collaborative agreement with Novozymes to discover, develop, and produce microbial solutions. The company was formerly known as Monsanto Ag Company and changed its name to Monsanto Company in March 2000. Monsanto was founded in 2000, it has more than 20,000 employees, and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.]]>