The biggest cattle business in Australia is ready to sell to China

Photo: Tony Lewis/ Getty Images.

The legendary pastoral business S. Kidman & Co is in talks to sell to Chinese-based Dakang Australia Holdings and ASX-listed Australian Rural Capital Ltd for $370.7 million.

The 116-year-old business, which covers 100,000 square kilometres of the Australian outback – making it bigger than Israel – was put up for sale 12 months ago.

Part of the holding, Anna Creek Station, the largest cattle station in the world.

The Australian Financial Review reports the latest deal is “conditional” upon Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

“The Consortium and Kidman have complied with all requests that have been made by the FIRB and we believe the sale will secure the long-term future of the Kidman enterprise,” S. Kidman & Co chairman John Crosby said.

“We believe Dakang Australia and ARC will be good custodians of the business and this transaction will provide a solid platform for growth and, at the same time, an opportunity for Australians to participate in Kidman’s future.

“The significant investment proposed by the Consortium will see an increase in production and the expansion of international markets for Kidman beef, the majority of which is already exported.”

Treasurer Scott Morrison previously blocked any sale to foreign buyers, saying it wouldn’t be in Australia’s best interest.

More to come.