SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Macquarie Group MQG.AX has purchased a 49% stake in cotton farm Cubbie Station, one of Southern Hemisphere's largest irrigation farms, from its majority owner Chinese conglomerate Ruyi Group 002193.SZ, according to local media.
The sale comes seven years after Australia's government in 2012 approved Ruyi's A$232 million ($158.04 million) purchase of an 80 percent share in Cubbie on condition it would cut its stake to 51% within three years. (reut.rs/2LVEuNd)
“Cubbie is one of Australia’s premiere agricultural assets and aligns with our investment thesis for long-term sustainable farming operations,” Liz O’Leary, the agriculture head of Macquarie’s Infrastructure and Real Assets division, was quoted as saying in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Located across Australia’s Murray-Darlin food bowl area in the Queensland state, the 93,000 hectares Cubbie property can grow up to 330,000 bales of cotton in a good year, as well as some wheat, barley, sorghum and corn. It also has water entitlements enough to fill Sydney Harbour.
The 2012 sale to China’s Ruyi had drawn anger from some lawmakers who said the move resulted in Australia losing control of a strategic asset.
Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Himani Sarkar
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