DomaCom eases Kidman Station concerns

DomaCom has assured investors that the bid to buy Kidman Station is still underway, after concerns regarding the bid's progress were raised.

In a statement, the fractional property fund manager said that it was waiting for a Senate committee to publish its inquiry report into foreign ownership, which was released on Friday. 

In the report, the Senate Economics References Committee recommended the government create a public register for foreign-owned agricultural land as a way to increase confidence in Australia's review processes. 

DomaCom made a submission to the Senate's Foreign Investment Review Framework (FIRB) last month, calling on the government to limit the purchase of land by foreign investors.

"Some of you may be concerned that DomaCom does not appear to be making much progress in launching a bid for Kidman Station, but we can assure you that a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes and we are still most definitely on the hunt," the company said.

"There has been a lot of talk in the media in relation to foreign ownership and the lack of participation by our superannuation funds to invest in our agricultural assets, which DomaCom and our associates have been vigorously fanning, and to good effect.

"There is currently a Senate Inquiry into foreign ownership to which DomaCom has made a submission. S Kidman & Company are referenced in this inquiry, which means the Foreign Investment Review Board is unlikely to make a determination on the sale to overseas interests until the inquiry report is released."

DomaCom added that it has received 4,500 expressions of interest that equal to about $67 million. The land component of the purchase will be around $150 million, while the cattle business is expected to cost $200 million.

"We are in advanced discussions with a consortium to fund the purchase of the business in a separate transaction to the land. This group has allocated more funds than are required and we are hoping the surplus will go towards the land," the company said.

"So we are in a reasonably good position, potentially only $30 million to $40 million short on the property side. And as soon as we can make a positive announcement on the business, we are confident that many others will join the campaign to secure our bid."

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