Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The Bull Market in Australian Cattle Stations

Yep, amidst all the bloodletting and mayhem of the credit crunch, there's a bull market in Australian cattle stations - over 30 have been rounded up in the past 6 months. It seems they've been under-capitalised, relative to their potential capacity and projected global beef requirements, and stand to benefit from the decline in available land elsewhere.

Amongst the buyers are The Macquarie Pastoral Fund, Terra Firma (which just bought out the Packer's rural holdings) and Primary Holdings (management pictured on location), which is in the process of tying up with ex-Murdoch man Ken Cowley's iconic RM Williams vehicle.

It's such a significant opportunity that old mate and CEO, Bob Tucker (pictured, seated left), former COO at Man Global Strategies, recently moved from London to Sydney, after securing seed funding from the RAB Special Situations Fund.

I have a little empathy, as Irish ancestors on my mother's side helped open up the area of the Kimberley region in Western Australia that is now the Ord River irrigation area. The history is covered in Mary Durack's book, "Kings in Grass Castles". I see there's even an upcoming tour of the trek the various families took to get out there in the 1880's.

It's still a hard life out there, by all accounts. Nice to see that the humble whiteboard remains an essential tool.
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