Nicoletti sells to Saudis

By: Chris McCullough

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WA farmer John Nicoletti has sold his 200,000 hectare wheatbelt property to the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company

Nicoletti sells to Saudis
Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) Australia has announced the acquisition of Baladjie Pty Ltd."

 

Grain baron John Nicoletti has sold his 200,000 hectare property in Western Australia's Wheatbelt region to a company associated with a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund. 

The Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) Australia acquired Nicoletti's company Baladjie Pty Ltd for over $60 million, according to sources close to the sale. 


The farm went on the market last year. Check out our story from the time here


Including the vast land area, Baladjie also carries a 40,000-head Merino sheep flock and was sold successfully following non-objection approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

SALIC Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of SALIC KSA, a Riyadh-based investment company 100 per cent owned by sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

SALIC KSA CEO Matthew Jansen says the purchase was the company's first acquisition in Australia and its first investment in sheep production.

"The acquisition of Baladjie is an important step for SALIC as we continue to build our global footprint in a meaningful way," he says

SALIC’s head of production agriculture investments William England says the company team plans to manage the livestock and grain production enterprise for the long term with a focus on sustainability, profitability, environmental responsibility and support for the local rural community.

This farm sale represents the biggest offering of a single parcel of broadacre farming land ever to be sold in Australia and was handled by CBRE head of agribusiness Danny Thomas.

Included in the sale are 76,575ha of freehold land, of which 62,768 hectares are arable, plus 127,018ha of leasehold land, of which 95,040ha are arable, which is being assigned to the purchaser.

The land is based on over 30 farms located at John’s home town of Merredin and also at Bodallin, Moorine Rock, Westonia, Southern Cross, Mukinbudin, Bullfinch and Marvel Loch, plus Daisy Downs at Mullewa.

Although Mr Nicoletti is giving up farming he says he is certainly not retiring and is going to put more energy into his six John Deere dealerships situated throughout Australia’s wheatbelt and the company headquarters in Perth.

Mr Nicoletti said: "If I was ten years younger I wouldn’t be doing this. I have one son and two daughters and all of them already have plenty of land.

"I have 110 people working at my six John Deere dealerships and the headquarters in Perth. I want to give that side of the business more attention," he said.

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