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Australia rules out sale of cattle empire to foreigners

KUALA LUMPUR / Bloomberg

Australia’s current government will never sell its largest cattle empire to foreigners, the treasurer said on Wednesday after blocking a takeover by a Chinese-led consortium.
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 $284mon sale was that the collection of cattle ranches was too big.
“As a result of the decision I took last week … Australia’s largest land holding will not be sold to foreign interests,” Morrison told the National Press Club. “There’s got to be a limit and it was just too big.”
Morrison said the company might be sold into foreign ownership if the government changes at elections in July.

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