Kojonup wagyu beef farmer gets cash injection

Headshot of Jenne Brammer
Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
Wagyu cattle producer Mathew Walker.
Camera IconWagyu cattle producer Mathew Walker. Credit: supplied

Mathew Walker has moved a step closer to fulfilling plans of building the world’s biggest wagyu cattle herd at Kojonup after securing a cash injection for Stone Axe Pastoral from a private equity firm.

Roc Partners, a spin-off of Macquarie Group’s private markets business, has bought a majority shareholding in the business for an undisclosed amount.

Roc partner Michael Lukin becomes chairman of Stone Axe, while Mr Walker remains a director.

The investment will help fund Stone Axe’s $100 million program to build its ultra premium wagyu beef cattle enterprise at the 3000ha Cheviot Hills property near Kojonup.

Stone Axe is stockpiling frozen embryos from more than 1000 of its own donor cattle at a vet centre in NSW. The first transplants into donor recipients at Kojonup will take place this spring.

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Plans include building a feedlot and processing facility at Kojonup, which by 2022 would turn off about 20,000 full blood wagyu annually for markets including China, South-East Asia and the Middle East. The company plans to acquire more land near Kojonup.

Mr Walker’s father, Chris, pioneered the Australian wagyu industry by founding Westholme Wagyu and importing full-blood animals from Japan.

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