A CHANGE of strategic direction by mega-grazier Bydand Pastoral Company has created a rare, low-capital livestock investment opening for serious long-term players.
Bydand, the company founded in 2003 by childcare centre entrepreneur and one-time jackaroo Michael Gordon, has put up for lease its two remaining major pastoral assets.
In NSW, Sydney-based agency Meares and Associates has invited expressions of interest for the lease of Cooplacurripa Station, the Upper Manning cattle property that kick-started Bydand’s pastoral build-up.
And in Queensland, Elders is doing the same for Bydand’s “Noorama” five-property aggregation in Cunnamulla’s renowned “salad bowl” region.
Both properties are being offered for lease on a 5x5x5 basis, giving prospective lessees the option of a 15-year venture, and with the option also to purchase the stock now on hand.
The offer puts into play two of the largest grazing enterprises in eastern Australia, with “Cooplacurripa” having an estimated carrying capacity for 9000 cattle, and “Noorama” 60,000 sheep and 3000 cattle.
Both properties are renowned breeding bases, “Cooplacurripa” with an Angus and Hereford herd now numbering 3300 cows, and “Noorama” with a top-rated Pooginook Merino flock of some 30,000 ewes.
The change of direction reflects Bydand’s growing focus on project management through its Bydand Agricultural Management Services (BAMS) offshoot, headed by Steve Francis.
BAMS has close links with Hassad Australia, the Qatar-based food investment group whose Australian properties acquired since 2009 now give it a total stocking capability of some 600,000 DSE.
Mr Gordon, now Bydand executive chairman, said it was intended to further develop BAMS’ agricultural project management activities, while exiting direct pastoral production.
Instead, Bydand’s future operating model would be based on property ownership, investment and improvement.
Mr Gordon said by offering unusually long-term lease options, it was hoped to attract genuine graziers who would “manage the properties as if they owned them”.
“Cooplacurripa” is believed to be the largest cattle property in south-east Australia, comprising 22,548 hectares (55,716ac) of high-rainfall valley country between Wingham and Nowendoc.
Mr Gordon bought the property in 2003 from AMP in a walk-in, walk-out deal that also involved Australian Agricultural Company (AACo).
Under the arrangement, AACo was to take the cattle and lease the property for six years.
When the lease expired three years ago, Bydand bought the cattle on hand and took full control of the property.
“Noorama” at Cunnamulla is an aggregation of five properties (which began in 2005 with “Yankalilla”) totalling some 104,000ha (260,000ac) of top-class pastoral breeding country.
It was originally intended to be a breeding base supplying wethers to Bydand’s “Mt Margaret” at Quilpie and crossbred lambs to its “Bundemar Park” at Trangie, both of which properties have since been sold.
Contact Meares and Associates, (02) 9362 8111 (“Cooplacurripa”),or Dick Allpass, 0417 070 418 (“Noorama”).