Mum and dad investors could get the opportunity to invest in Kidman Station, Australia's largest private landholding, via a crowdfunding proposal spearheaded by DomaCom.
While crowdfunding has been associated with retail and commercial property, this proposal, the brainchild of seventh-generation pastoralist Stephen Burgin and crowdfunder DomaCom, would put the $360 million Kidman properties "into play" for retail investors.
The Kidman Station is an aggregation of 17 pastoral properties and three supporting properties in breeding, feedlot and cropping. It is spread across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and is home to 185,000 cattle. At 101,000 square kilometres, it is larger than Ireland and almost half the size of Victoria.
It is reportedly Australia's largest private landholding, and includes the world's largest cattle station.
In November, the federal government blocked the sale of Kidman Station to foreign investors, with Treasurer Scott Morrison saying it was "contrary to the national interest".
However, DomaCom chief executive Arthur Naoumidis said its ASIC-registered platform provided the "ideal vehicle" to give mum and dad investors the chance to invest in the Kidman properties.
"Crowdfunding hasn't traditionally been associated with pastoral properties, but that's no reason why it can't be done," Mr Naoumidis said. "The platform is structured to cater for the smallest apartments to a deal of the Kidman magnitude. The principle is the same, and people can get on board the Kidman acquisition for as little as $2,500 and receive a proportional share of the income and capital value of the property that will be valued annually.
"It is also a good opportunity for superannuation funds, whether they be APRA-regulated or SMSFs, to get a slice of this pastoral empire that offers an indicative rent yield of about 9 per cent a year," he said.
Mr Burgin added that the economic rewards and future food security are primary motivators for acquiring Kidman Station.
Last year, it generated a net profit of more than $50 million or around 15 per cent return on capital, according to a DomaCom release.
The crowdfunding campaign will separate the land from the operating business, with the land expected to yield about 9 per cent rent and the operating business expected to yield about 20 per cent annually.
"There is plenty of upside in a growing export market for agricultural produce that should continue to improve if the dollar makes further retreats. The domestic and international appetite for quality Australian produce continues to grow each year," Mr Burgin said.
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