PARAWAY Pastoral has entered into a contract to purchase two Inverell properties from Sundown Pastoral Company.
The fund manager is awaiting settlement of “Newstead” and “Paradise”.
Paraway will use the properties, which are described by local agents as “signature properties”, to boost its cattle finishing capacity. It purchased them directly from Sundown.
“Newstead” totals 4,848 hectares and consists of improved pastures for beef production as well as growing crops. Once divided in two, the re-amalgamated property was purchased by Sundown in 2005 from the Bruderhof community. The northern and southern halves had been re-joined in the years prior by Malcolm McNeall. Interestingly, Australian artist Tom Roberts painted 'The Golden Fleece' while staying at Newstead, then owned by the Anderson family, in 1894.
Neighbouring property “Paradise”, totals 6,500 ha. It comprises high performance pastures and includes an airstrip.
Sundown was founded by Neil Statham in 1964 and is still owned and operated by the Statham family with Neil’s son David at the helm. The business owns multiple properties around Moree including “Keytah”, Boorondarra Station, “Cudgidool” and “Wathagar”. It retains ownership of its flagship property “Sundown Valley”, Kingstown, and its Gunnee Feedlot, Delungra, which it owns with feedlot specialists Mort and Co.
The Stathams tried to sell Sundown in 2011 with a price tag of $490 million but there were no buyers.
Paraway’s Inverell acquisitions follow the recent purchase of four other properties in the New England region. It has bought up “Burmah” and neighbouring properties “Aracoola Springs” and “Burmah Downs” in the Gramain district as well as “Aberbaldie” in Walcha district. The Land understands Paraway is looking to deploy further capital in the area.
Buoyant cattle prices have allowed Paraway to make a spree of property purchases in the past year. Since 2015 it has acquired Ulonga Station and “Rosevale” to expand its Hay operations. It also made its first foray into Victoria with “Beckworth Court” and “Wiranya”.
In April Paraway posted a record net profit of $67.1m for the year, well up on the previous year's $23m. The company's carrying value for its extensive land portfolio reached $401m, up from $397.2m in the previous year.
Its overall livestock numbers as of December 2015 were recorded at 314,276 head comprising 111,353 cattle and 202,923 sheep, down from the previous year's 353,975 head which comprised 183,049 cattle and 170,926 sheep.
Paraway recorded a total crop and livestock value as of December 2015 of $68m, up from $66m in the previous year.