Shanghai Zhongfu expands presence in Kimberley region

09 Aug 2016

Kimberley Agricultural Investment (KAI), a subsidiary of Chinese company Shanghai Zhongfu, has purchased Carlton Hill Station in the Ord River district of Western Australia, from Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) for an estimated A$100 million.

The investment in the East Kimberley region establishes Shanghai Zhongfu as one of the most significant agricultural foreign investors in northern Australia.

KAI will invest in a new irrigated cropping site on part of the 476,000 hectare property, planting chia, sorghum, maize and quinoa to add scale to its existing irrigated cropping investments in the region. KAI believes the diversification of pastoral operations will help fulfil the economic potential of northern Australian agribusiness.

KAI’s commitment to northern Australia’s long-term growth aligns with the federal government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia and the Western Australian Government’s Kimberley Regional Investment Blueprint. KAI currently employs over 50 locals, including many indigenous workers.

In a CPC media release, Jian Zhong Yin, CEO of KAI, says his company will be exploring other integrated business opportunities within northern Australia on the back of this acquisition.

Tony Setter, CPC Chief Executive, adds the sale of Carlton Hill Station is value-accretive for both businesses. ‘It will help strengthen CPC’s north Australian portfolio, the gateway to the rapidly expanding Asian markets, and provides KAI with access to additional fertile land for irrigated cropping.’

CPC, owned by Britain-based investment firm Terra Firma, is Australia’s largest privately owned beef producer. The Carlton Hill Station investment ensures CPC a 10-year leaseback of 90 per cent of the property, where they will continue to run 50,000 cattle for beef production.