Canadian investors snap up Kimberley Cattle Portfolio for $300 million

Aidan SmithCountryman
Cattle on the Kimberley Cattle Portfolio.
Camera IconCattle on the Kimberley Cattle Portfolio. Credit: Supplied

A Canadian fund manager has snapped up the Kimberley Cattle Portfolio from Australia’s 19th richest person, Hui Wing Mau.

The Alberta Investment Management Corporation and its investment partner New Agriculture revealed the deal to acquire WA’s Yougawalla Pastoral Co and Argyle Cattle Co portfolio on Wednesday.

No purchase price was disclosed but it is thought to be more than $300 million.

The acquisition — which spans almost three million hectares, consisting of seven pastoral leases and five sub-leases as well as a cattle agistment agreement over 153,475ha — still needs to clear foreign investment regulators.

As part of the deal, portfolio managers Haydn and Jane Sale will remain with the portfolio..

The Kimberley Cattle Portfolio has been owned by billionaire property developer Mr Hui since he purchased it from S Kidman & Co in 2015. Mr Hui is the founder and majority owner of the Chinese development company Shimao Group Holdings and is estimated to be worth $4.9 billion.

His investments in the Australia’s cattle market include a majority share in Bindaree Beef, a NSW meat processor and exporter, and the Argyle Cattle Co, managed by his Archstone Investment Group.

Cattle on the Kimberley Cattle Portfolio.
Camera IconCattle on the Kimberley Cattle Portfolio. Credit: Supplied
Ben Hawkins.
Camera IconBen Hawkins. Credit: supplied/supplied

AIMCo executive managing director and head of infrastructure and renewables resources, Ben Hawkins, said the Kimberley package was the corporation’s first investment in the pastoral sector, noting it was an established and “well-managed asset” that offered diversification of the portfolio.

New Agriculture director Bruce King.
Camera IconNew Agriculture director Bruce King. Credit: supplied/supplied

New Agriculture director Bruce King said the portfolio would be manage with sustainability in mind.

“With up to 25 per cent of the solution to climate change expected to come from the land use sector, we have a responsibility to manage these landscapes for sustainability outcomes, and with our local communities in mind,” Mr King said.

“Our intention is to apply the same level of rigour and commitment to sustainability that New Forests has in the forestry space to the agriculture sector.

“New Agriculture will continue to focus on sustainability practices which allow for not only the protection and restoration of landscapes, but which also lead to the enhancement of natural capital over time.”

AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest institutional investment managers and boasts more than $C158 billion ($175b) of assets under management.

It invests globally on behalf of 17 pension, endowment and government funds in Alberta.

Broome kimberley cattle portfolio land sale
Camera IconExpressions of interest can be made before noon on Thursday, November 9. LAWD Credit: Supplied

AIMCo has invested in Australia for many years, firstly in forestry and most recently in agriculture through the acquisition of mixed farming business, Lawson Grains in January 2022.

The transaction is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval in Australia and approval by the Western Australia Lands Department — both are expected to be completed by the first half of 2024.

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