The Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) has purchased two adjoining cattle stations in the Northern Territory.
Labelle Downs and Welltree, which were owned by RM Williams Agricultural Holdings, have sold destocked for $27.1 million.
The aggregation of the 99,400 hectares is located in floodplain country, adjacent to the Litchfield National Park, 180 kilometres south west of Darwin.
PPB Advisory was appointed earlier this year as receiver and manager of both properties.
The two pastoral leases, which are often referred to as the ‘jewels in the Territory’s crown’, were sold by cattleman, Peter Camm, in 2009 for $72 million, which included a herd of cattle worth $20 million.
Gregg Quinn from PPB Advisory says prices for stations in the north have dropped significantly since the highs of 2008 and 2009.
“If you look at the actual sale figure based on what’s happening up there with some of the values I think it’s a fairly buoyant price.
“It’s a real boost for probably what some buyers are looking, and scrapping the bottom for, up there,” he said.
Mr Quinn says Labelle Downs and Welltree are in a good location to supply stock to AACo’s abattoir which is under construction near Darwin.
“It suits perfectly for getting cattle to the Darwin Port as well.
“They’re on beautiful floodplain country that have been fairly well understocked so they’ve got some good pasture on those properties.
“It’s a great asset in the right position,” he said.
He says there were 42 groups which registered their interest in the buying the properties.
In a statement to the ASX on Wednesday, AACo’s acting CEO Craig White said the purchase was consistent with the company’s focus on northern Australia.
“While the land is relatively small, the purchase is strategically significant for the company.
“Labelle Downs and Welltree are just 180 kilometres from Darwin and will be complimentary to the company’s Darwin beef processing facility, which is under construction and scheduled to begin operations in the second half of next year,” he said.
“The properties will help to ensure continuity of supply to the facility through both wet and dry seasons.”
The builder for AACo’s abattoir returned to the construction site near Darwin earlier this month.