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Australia okays sale of cotton farm to Chinese firm

01
Sep '12
Australian Government has given its green signal for selling the country’s largest and most controversial cotton growing farm, Cubbie Station to Chinese textile group Shandong Ruyi.
 
Under the proposed purchase agreement, Ruyi would acquire 80 percent stake in Cubbie, while Australia-based family-owned wool processor, Lempriere Ltd, is close to finalize acquisition of the rest 20 percent stake.
 
However, Treasurer Wayne Swan, who led the approval, has imposed a condition that Ruyi would be required to reduce its holding in Cubbie to below 51 percent within a period of three years. 
 
The undertaking condition came after an assessment by the Foreign Invest Review Board, which became involved upon learning that the property’s sale price is likely to cross the threshold of US$ 244 million.
 
With reported debts of over US$ 320 million, Cubbie’s huge property near Queensland-NSW border was placed under voluntary administration in 2009.
 
Meanwhile, National Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce, has raised a doubt if the sale of the cotton conglomerate to a foreign firm is in the interest of the country, and has moved a motion in the Federal Parliament for reversal of the proposal.
 
Located in the southeast Queensland, Cubbie Station is the biggest privately-owned farm in Australia that spreads over an area of nearly 93,000 hectares. The farm holds 51 water licences and possesses massive water storage dams with capacities of 539-billion-litres. The water units stretch up to a length of 28 kilometres along with a river that is a part of the Murray-Darling system.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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