27/10/2016 - 14:32

Rinehart lifts Kidman bid to $386.5m

27/10/2016 - 14:32

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Gina Rinehart and Shanghai CRED’s joint venture has proposed a counter-bid to that of the all-Australian consortium competing for the Kidman cattle empire, and says Hancock Prospecting would wholly acquire the target if foreign investment approvals aren't awarded.

Rinehart lifts Kidman bid to $386.5m
Hancock Prospecting chair Gina Rinehart.

Gina Rinehart and Shanghai CRED’s joint venture has proposed a counter-bid to that of the all-Australian consortium competing for the Kidman cattle empire, and says Hancock Prospecting would wholly acquire the target if foreign investment approvals aren't awarded.

Australian Outback Beef, which is 67 per cent owned by Hancock Prospecting and Chinese-owned Shanghai CRED, increased its bid for S Kidman & Co from its original $365 million offer lodged earlier this month.

That offer was outweighed by a group of four wealthy graziers, known as BBHO, which made a $386 million bid to by the cattle empire last weekend.

The Kidman board has unanimously recommended its shareholders accept the improved offer from AOB in the absence of a superior proposal.

Mrs Rinehart said Hancock would wholly acquire Kidman if the joint bid didn’t receive FIRB or PRC approvals.

“I hope this provides shareholders with significant comfort and that when they consider the offer they can do so in the knowledge that there is no FIRB or PRC execution risk, and further that we have the money to invest to properly maintain the stations and their hard-working staff,” she said.

“I reiterate AOB’s commitment to invest and grow Kidman. AOB has the capacity and ability to access additional markets vital to any credible plan to grow Kidman in a sustainable way and without breaking up the core business.

“This will result in valuable jobs being retained in Adelaide and also importantly create more jobs in rural communities where they are so desperately needed.”

Kidman chairman John Crosby said the board welcomed the increased offer and the Kidman staff and legacy would be looked after if the Hancock JV bid was successful.

It follows news earlier this week of Hancock’s $US300 million investment in UK-based fertiliser business Sirius Minerals.

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