Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Australia Blocks Ranch Sale to Foreigners on Security Fears

  • Part of cattle ranch sits in military weapons testing range
  • Kidman's total holdings span 1.3% of Australia's land mass
Dairy cows graze at a farm that supplies to Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. in Hamilton, New Zealand, on Thursday, March 19, 2015. Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter, is scheduled to report interim results on March 25.
Photographer: Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg
Updated on

Australia blocked the sale of the nation’s largest private landowner to an overseas buyer, saying the location of one of the company’s 10 cattle ranches in a weapons testing area could compromise national security.

S. Kidman & Co.’s properties, which were listed for sale in April, attracted bids from China’s Shanghai Pengxin Group and Hong Kong-based investment firm Genius Link Asset Management, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Pengxin had offered about A$350 million ($250 million) for the string of ranches, the Australian Financial Review reported this month, citing unidentified people.