DomaCom lauds Morrison’s Kidman decision

DomaCom lauds Morrison’s Kidman decision

Crowd funder DomaCom has welcomed the announcement by the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, that the sale of the giant Kidman Station to a Chinese consortium is “not in the national interest”.

DomaCom CEO Arthur Naoumidis said it was “very pleasing” that the Government had heeded the outpouring of public sentiment on the proposed $370 million sale and had reached a “preliminary finding” to reject the bid by Dakang Australia Holdings. The company has until 3 May to respond.

Morrison had earlier rejected a bid by a related Chinese company, the Penxing Group.

DomaCom launched a 11th hour book-build late last year to keep Kidman Station in Australian hands, and in about three months 5000 retail investors had pledged more $70 million.

“What the DomaCom campaign clearly demonstrated is that there is genuine public interest in keeping the iconic Kidman pastoral station in Australian hands, and that ‘mum and dad’ investors want to have a stake in this country’s agricultural heritage.

“Opinion polls have continually shown that ordinary Australians are deeply concerned about retaining our agricultural land, as well as the businesses that flow from them, and what our crowd-funding proposal did was give them the opportunity to give expression to that concern.”

The Kidman Station is an aggregation of 16 pastoral properties including outstations and supporting properties in breeding, feedlot and cropping. It is spread across Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia and is home to 185,000 cattle.

Naoumidis says Morrison’s announcement today could breathe fresh life into the DomaCom offer.

“Hopefully it will encourage more retail investors to come forward to invest in Kidman. Aside from the issue of keeping it in Australian hands, the investment reality is that under our proposal the land will be separated from the operating business, with the land expected to return about 8-9% to our investors.

“We also hope it’s a wake-up call for our large superannuation funds and asset managers to give a higher priority to agricultural investment to allow our prime pastoral and cropping land to remain in Australian hands.”