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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.]]>

Cresud's $CRESY IDB Hires JPMorgan to Find Exit for Israeli Clal Insurance

Cresud's $CRESY IDB Hires JPMorgan to Find Exit for Israeli Clal Insurance

Reuters is said to have invested nearly 2.5 billion shekels ($665 million) in IDB, acquired the heavily indebted IDB group from former Israeli tycoon Nochi Dankner when it was structured as a six-layer pyramid with one holding company controlling another and had 16 billion shekels in debt. IDB and Discount combined now reportedly have debt of 5.6 billion shekels. After Elsztain took effective control of IDBD in October 2015, his Buenos Aires-based leading agribusiness Cresud (NASDAQ: CRESY; BASE: CRES) started consolidating IDBD within its financial reports, as of its fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2015. Discount Investment Corp., founded in 1961, remains one of the largest and most prominent holding companies in Israel. It has holdings in companies that are market leaders in their specific fields, including Cellcom, the largest cellular operator in Israel (41.8%); Shufersal, the largest grocery retail chain in Israel (52.9%); Property and Building Corporation, one of the largest real-estate groups in Israel (76.5%); and Elron, a high-tech operating investment company (50.3%). In July 2016, China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), agreed to buy out IDB Holding Corp. subsidiary Koor’s remaining 40% stake in Tel Aviv-based Adama Holding Ltd., one of the world’s leading crop protection companies, for $1.4 billion, consisting of $230 million in cash and the assumption of $1.17 billion in debt. The deal valued Adama’s equity at $3.5 billion. Discount Investment Corp. said it would report a capital gain of 690 million shekels ($178.5 million) from the sale to ChemChina, a state-owned enterprise established through a reorganization and consolidation of China’s former Ministry of Chemical Industry Ministry subsidiary companies. With revenues of $45 billion in 2015, ChemChina is China’s largest chemical company. It has more than 140,000 employees, of which 48,000 are outside China. IDB is required to sell its stake in Clal to abide by Israeli regulatory requirements that prohibit holding companies from owning both financial and non-financial businesses. The latest move follows two failed attempts by IDB to sell its 55 percent stake in Clal, one of Israel’s biggest insurers, to Chinese investors. “We are spending a lot of money, time and effort to achieve … a sale,” Elsztain said at a news conference this week, to mark four years since he invested in IDB. “A forced sale will make a tremendous loss to shareholders,” he added, according to Reuters. IDB had an agreement with Israel’s capital markets and insurance regulator that if it did not sell Clal by early 2016, it would have to sell its majority stake in the company piece-by-piece, in tranches of up to 5 percent every four months. The matter is now pending a decision by the Tel Aviv District court. Delek Group (TASE: DLEKG; ADR: DGRLY), another Israeli conglomerate and Israel’s dominant energy company, also faced certain challenges trying to sell its majority stake in insurance company Phoenix Holdings Ltd (TASE: PHOE). However, last month Delek said it signed a binding agreement to sell its 52.3 percent stake in Phoenix to Chinese conglomerate Fujian Yango Group (SZSE: 671), for 1.95 billion shekels ($516 million) in cash. The deal is now subject to regulatory approval. Photo: Eduardo Elsztain, Chairman of IDB, Discount Investment Corp, IRSA, CRESUD, BrasilAgro and Banco Hipotecario.]]>

Cresud's $CRESY IDB Hires JPMorgan to Find Exit for Israeli Clal Insurance

ChemChina Buys Out IDB's Final 40% Adama Stake for $1.4B, Boosting Elsztain Holdings

China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), agreed to acquire Koor’s remaining 40% stake in Tel Aviv-based Adama Holding Ltd., one of the world’s leading crop protection companies, for $1.4 billion, consisting of $230 million in cash and the assumption of $1.17 billion in debt. The deal values Adama’s equity at $3.5 billion. Discount Investment Corp. Ltd. (DIC) (TLV: DISI), the parent company of Koor, and a constituent of the TA-100 Index, said it would report a capital gain of 690 million shekels ($178.5 million) from the sale to ChemChina. Discount Investment shares jumped 22.55% closing at 10.90 shekels in Tel Aviv, in their biggest gain in years. Discount Investment Corporation Ltd. is a holding company based in Israel, controlled by IDB Holding Corp. Ltd., both of which are controlled by their chairman, Argentine tycoon Eduardo Elsztain. ChemChina, through its subsidiary China National Agrochemical Corp., had first acquired 60% of Adama from Koor for $2.4 billion, in October 2011. ChemChina is a state-owned enterprise established through a reorganization and consolidation of China’s former Ministry of Chemical Industry Ministry subsidiary companies. With revenues of $45 billion in 2015, ChemChina is China’s largest chemical company. It has more than 140,000 employees, of which 48,000 are outside China. The move comes a month after the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) published a proposed amendment to Chinese securities regulations, now allowing transactions in which a foreign entity may be combined with one that is publicly-traded in China. The deal paves the way for Adama’s contemplated combination with Sanonda, ChemChina’s smaller agrochemical production subsidiary publicly-traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, through a reverse merger, with the combined company gaining access to China’s capital markets. Sanonda’s shares, which have been suspended from trading since the intended combination with Adama was first announced in August 2015, are expected to resume trading on August 4, 2016. Subject to receiving all required regulatory and corporate approvals, Adama’s combination with Sanonda is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, resulting in a publicly-traded, fully integrated entity. “These recent developments enable Adama to move forward with the execution of its combination with Sanonda, which together with its rapidly progressing commercial and operational build-up in China, form a key step towards the realization of its China strategy,” said Adama’s spokesperson Nina Zoukelman. “Adama, which has delivered market-leading performance over the past few years, is now well poised to cement its unique strengths and create a leading, China-global crop protection company.” “Following the combination with Sanonda, the combined company will continue to be run by Adama’s global management team, with China becoming a significant geographical business cluster, and it will retain the Adama name and brand. The combined company will continue to be headquartered in Israel and remain committed to its Israeli and global business culture, as well as the continued growth of its Israeli operations. Adama’s bonds will continue to be publicly-traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange,” Zoukelman added. Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd. (formerly Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd.) is an Israeli manufacturer and distributor of branded off-patent crop protection products including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. The group has manufacturing facilities worldwide with key facilities in Neot Hovav, Beer Sheba, Ashdod and Brazil. In addition, the group has smaller plants in Colombia, Poland, Spain and Greece. With one of the most comprehensive and diversified portfolios of differentiated, high-quality products, Adama’s approximately 4,900 people reach farmers in over 100 countries across the globe, providing them with solutions to control weeds, insects and disease and improve their yields. The company was founded in 1945, when Zvi Zurr and Michael Pikarski established the Agan Cooperative for the development of chemical products. They were later joined by Israel Tamir and Eliyahu Teomim. In 1954 the cooperative was dismantled and incorporated as Agan Chemical Manufacturers for the development and production of herbicides. Zurr left Agan and relocated to the Negev where, in 1952, Makhteshim Chemical Works, producer and distributor of insecticides and fungicides, was established with funding from the Nir Company of the Histadrut Labor Federation. In 1973, Agan relocated once again to larger facilities in Ashdod, and established a partnership with Makhteshim for worldwide distribution of their products. In 1997, the two companies merged to form Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd. Discount Investment Corporation Ltd. (TLV: DISI), founded in 1961, remains one of the largest and most prominent holding companies in Israel. DIC has holdings in companies that are market leaders in their specific fields, including Cellcom, the largest cellular operator in Israel (41.8%); Shufersal, the largest grocery retail chain in Israel (52.9%); Property and Building Corporation, one of the largest real-estate groups in Israel (76.5%); and Elron, a high-tech operating investment company (50.3%). IDB Group is one of Israel’s preeminent business groups, holding leading corporations in key business sectors alongside an ever-growing, global presence through diverse portfolio companies and joint ventures. IDB Development Corp. Ltd., founded in 1981, is the parent company through which IDB Holding Corp. steers IDB Group’s activities. The group’s main arms are its investment arm Discount Investment Corp. Ltd. (TLV: DISI), and its insurance and finance arm Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. In addition to IDB and Discount Investment Corp., Eduardo Elsztain is chairman of IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones SA (ADR)(NYSE: IRS), IRSA Propiedades Comerciales SA (formerly Alto Palermo SA) (NASDAQ: IRCP), Banco Hipotecario SA (BCBA: BHIP), CRESUD (NASDAQ: CRESY), BrasilAgro Sp (ADR)(NYSE: LND; SAO: AGRO3), BACS Banco de Crédito & Securitización SA, and Austral Gold (ASX: AGD) an Australian precious metals mining and exploration company with a portfolio of assets in South America, among others. IDB Holding Corp. was voluntarily delisted from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in August 2015. In October 2015 the group controlled by Eduardo Elsztain (IRSA, Dolphin Fund and IFISA) took effective control of IDB Development Corp. (IDBD), and as such CRESUD (NASDAQ: CRESY; BASE: CRES) started consolidating IDBD in its financial reports as of the quarter ending March 31, 2016. CRESUD’s shares closed up 3% on NASDAQ at $16.06 on Friday, prior to the Adama sale announcement today. This was the highest price CRESUD’s shares traded in five years, bringing the company’s market value to roughly $795 million. According to industry analysts the stock is “uptrending” with “very positive momentum,” and is said to have a price target of $20.15. CRESUD, based in Buenos Aires and founded in 1936, is a leading Argentine agricultural company engaged in the production of basic agricultural commodities with a growing presence in the Brazilian agricultural sector through its investment in BrasilAgro, as well as in other Latin American countries. Its business model focuses on the acquisition, development and exploitation of agricultural properties having attractive prospects for agricultural production and/or value appreciation, and the selective sale of such properties where appreciation has been realized. CRESUD is also engaged in the Argentine real estate business through its subsidiary IRSA, one of Argentina’s largest real estate companies. Photo: Eduardo Elsztain, Chairman of IDB, Discount Investment Corp, IRSA, CRESUD, BrasilAgro and Banco Hipotecario.]]>