20th December 2015, Sydney Morning Herald By Sally Rose
Investors have put their hands up for more than $30 million in the first 10 days of a crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise up to $410 million to buy Australia’s largest landholder, S. Kidman & Co.
Now DomaCom, the company running the offer, is pitching it to industry superannuation funds in the hope of reaching their target before the cattle station operator is sold to a consortium of Chinese-government-backed bidders.
“We have had a great response from self-managed super fund investors and are now also in talks to pitch the offer to a number of industry super funds,” DomaCom chief executive Arthur Naoumidis said.
S. Kidman & Co owns more than a dozen cattle properties, covering 101,000 square kilometres – 2.5 per cent of the nation’s agricultural land.
Last month, Treasurer Scott Morrison blocked the sale of the business to a consortium of Chinese bidders, for $360 million to $370 million, on the ground that it would be against the national interest. The group’s Anna Creek Station in South Australia is considered strategically important because it borders the secret military testing area at Woomera.
A revised offer from the Chinese bidders is expected.
Self-described “fractional property investing platform” DomaCom, with the backing of a network of independent financial planning groups, launched its campaign to assemble a counter offer.
“In the first 10 days more than 600 people have registered their interest to participate, with total indicative contributions topping $30 million,” Mr Naoumidis said.
“Three people have registered interest for up to $1 million, and a handful of others have indicated they might buy more than $250,000 worth of shares”.
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