Australian group to offer $386 million for Kidman cattle empire, challenges Hancock $365 million bid

By @vitthernandez on
S. Kidman Cattle Empire
The Anna Creek Station is excluded from the S. Kidman cattle empire being bidded because the federal government blocked past foreign bids for Kidman on national security grounds since the place is next to a rocket testing range. YouTube

The BBHO syndicate would compete with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting in bidding for the S. Kidman cattle empire. Sterling Buntine from BBHO told the Kidman board on Sunday it would lodge a bid this week for all shares of Kidman.

Buntine claims its $386 million offer is better than Hancock’s $365 million offer. But Sophie Mirabella, spokeswoman of Hancock, says the two bids are essentially the same if the Anna Creek Station is added to the computation. She says AOB, the joint venture firm owned 67 percent by Hancock and 33 percent by Shanghai CRED, excluded Anna Creek Station because the federal government blocked past foreign bids for Kidman on national security grounds since the place is next to a rocket testing range, ABC reports.

Since the AOB bid is conditional on Anna Creek and its outlying station, The Peake, being sold and the proceeds returned to Kidman, if the calculation is included and almost $4 million penalty if either Kidman or AOB back off from the bid agreement, agricultural analysts say it makes the AOB bid effectively $380 million.

BBHO is the acronym formed by the family names of the syndicate form made up of directors Tom Brinkworth, Sterling Buntine, Malcolm Harris and Viv Oldfield. If BBHO would win, the cattle herd of Kidman would more than triple in size to more than 500,000 head as the cattle owned by the directors are added.

The analysts also point to Rinehart’s track record and high chances of keeping the Kidman landholding together. But in a statement issued by Buntine, BBHO’s spokesman, he assures, “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,” Bloomberg reports.

He adds that since they are Australian grazing families, they share a strong affinity with the Kidman property. “My father carted cattle for Kidman for many years, while several members of the Oldfield family earned their stripes as drovers on Sir Sidney’s properties. More recently the Brinkworth family’s epic 18,000-head cattle drive from central west Queensland to southern New South Wales followed in Sir Sidney’s similar footsteps from earlier this century,” Buntine shares.