Article By Lynda Kiernan, Courtesy pf Global AgInvesting
Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting (HPPL) announced it has acquired Warrabah Station in the New England region of New South Wales for an undisclosed amount.
Located between Manilla and Kingstown, Warrabah covers 3,900 hectares (9,637 acres) and brings the number of properties in Rinehart’s New England aggregation to six; joining three Lyndhurst holdings totaling 3,280 hectares (8,105 acres), two Kingstown properties – one of which is the 17,800-hectare (43,984-acre) Sundown Valley property – and the 3,234-hectare (7991-acre) Glendon Park, a grazing property that HPPL acquired in late 2018.
HPPL controls one of the largest Wagyu beef cattle herds in Australia, with 23,000 head on the ground, and the strategic decision to acquire Warrabah was undertaken to increase HPPL’s capacity to background these herds before being shipped to both domestic and foreign markets.
“I am pleased to invest in rural operations that will continue to grow our 2GR Wagyu business to meet the growing demand for our very high quality and delicious 2GR Wagyu beef,” said Gina Rinehart.
“Warrabah Station is a high quality property that will allow increased scale of operations on our existing NSW properties and will support further growth. New acquisitions such as this will allow greater operational flexibility and herd retention, which is very important when dealing with the challenging conditions brought on by the current drought.”
Despite challenging conditions, Australia’s Wagyu beef sector is expected to see continued growth. Australia is home to the largest full blood genetic Wagyu herd outside of Japan, of which HPPL owns one of the largest full-blood wagyu herds, counting more than 8,000 head. On a global scale, Wagyu beef is expected to grow at a CAGR exceeding 6 percent, or by US$2.42 billion between 2019 and 2023, according to Technavio.
“I am pleased to invest in rural operations that will continue to grow our 2GR Wagyu business to meet the growing demand for our very high quality and delicious 2GR Wagyu beef,” said Reinhart.
Gina Rinehart’s cattle holdings total 2.2 million hectares (5.4 million acres), which include the 2016 acquisition of the S. Kidman cattle empire by Australian Outback Beef (AOB) – a joint venture between mining magnate Gina Rinehart and China’s Shanghai CRED – for A$386.5 million. Under the structure of the AOB joint venture, Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting will own 67 percent of S. Kidman, with Shanghai CRED owning the remaining 33 percent.