Confusion stalls China bid for S. Kidman cattle empire

THE sale of Australia’s largest ­pastoral company, the sprawling S. Kidman & Co, is on hold, with foreign-based prospective buyers frustrated by uncertainties over how their bids should be structured to win approval amid the ­increasingly difficult investment climate.

Formal bids for the Kidman family’s third attempt at selling the pastoral firm, which covers nearly 11 million hectares, were expected last month after the two previous bids were rejected on ­national security and national ­interest grounds.
The Australian understands the process has been put on hold and is unlikely to resume until nearer the end of the year, potentially in ­November.
Shanghai Pengxin — a ­Chinese conglomerate controlled by billionaire Zhaobai Jiang, whose $370 million bid was first rejected by Scott Morrison last November — was unlikely to submit another offer without clarification from Kidman about what would be an acceptable arrangement, sources close to the company said.
Kidman, in a statement to The Australian, said there were now “no indicative timelines in place for the transaction”.

“The vendors are in discussion with a number of potential bidders and there is unlikely to be any outcome for some months,’’ the statement said.
Read more at The Australian

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