Saudi company buys 200,000ha of Australian farmland

Written on the 8 April 2019 by Business News Australia

Saudi company buys 200,000ha of Australian farmland

The Nicoletti family in Western Australia has sold 200,000ha of farmland to the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) in a deal the ABC reports to be worth around $60 million.

The buyer, which is a joint stock company owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, received approval for the transaction last week from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

CBRE reports the deal for the 'Baladjie' aggregation represents the country's largest single parcel of broadacre agricultural land, comprising 76,000ha freehold cropping land and 134,000ha leasehold land in Western Australia's eastern Wheatbelt region.

Baladjie includes a large scale, fully operational sheep/wheat farming business accommodating a minimum sheep flock of 40,000 Merino Ewes, plus rams and progeny.

The sale process was managed by Danny Thomas of CBRE Agribusiness along with Damian Bryce of map19.

"The purchaser was drawn to the scale and quality of this property, with it providing an opportunity to expand their platform significantly with geographic spread and also execute on their investment strategies," says Thomas.

John and Julie Nicoletti have congratulated SALIC on its acquisition of their business as well as "a number of our neighbouring properties".

"This purchase represents the culmination of a lifetime of work for us and others and we are delighted that the enlarged business will be stewarded by the SALIC team into the future," they said.

"Importantly, we are most grateful to our staff for their dedication and loyalty over many years."

The aggregation, which is located between Merredin, Mukinbudin, Bullfinch and Southern Cross, also features structural improvements including more than 25 dwellings, 12 shearing sheds, machinery and storage.

Nova Legal provided legal representation for the vendor throughout the process.

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