Australia rules out sale of cattle empire to foreigners

AP News
Posted: May 04, 2016 1:04 AM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's treasurer says his government will never sell Australia's largest cattle empire to foreigners.

Chinese-based Dakang Australia Holdings on Tuesday withdrew its application to buy an 80 percent stake in Australia's largest private landholding, S. Kidman & Co. Ltd., after Treasurer Scott Morrison last week announced a preliminary view that the sale was contrary to the national interest.

Morrison said on Wednesday the main reason he opposed the 371 million Australian dollars ($284 million) sale was that the collection of cattle ranches was too big.

Kidman owns 10 cattle ranches, a bull breeding stud and a feed lot covering 101,411 square kilometers (39,155 square miles) in four states. That's an area bigger than South Korea and almost the size of the U.S. state of Virginia.