Business / Companies

Chinese company buys one of Australia's largest cattle stations

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-03 14:32

MELBOURNE - A Chinese company has bought one of Australia's largest cattle stations for $76 million.

Shanghai Zhongfu, trading in Australia as Kimberley Agricultural Investment (KAI), acquired the 476,000-hectare Carlton Hill station in far north Western Australia (WA).

The sale, approved by the federal government's Foreign Investment Review Board in March according to the Australian newspaper, paves the way for KAI to invest in food processing plants in nearby Kununurra.

"The matter was assessed by the government prior to the election and not deemed to be contrary to the national interest," Treasurer Scott Morrison's spokesman told News Limited on Wednesday.

Among investment opportunities being considered for food processing in Kununurra are a $300 million sugar and biofuel mill, a grain grading facility, cattle abattoir and a cotton gin.

Senator Matthew Canavan, Minister for Northern Australia, welcomed Shanghai Zhongfu's continued investment in the area, telling News Limited that the company was renowned as a good citizen and employer in the Ord irrigation area.

The approval of the sale in March came shortly before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's government rejected -- for the second time -- the sale of the Kidman cattle empire to a Chinese consortium for $280 million.

The previous owner of Carlton Hill, Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), will continue to run 50,000 head of cattle on grazing land unfit for crops as part of a 10-year free leaseback included in the property's sale.

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