The Australian Agricultural Company late last week completed the sales of three Queensland Gulf cattle stations to Paraway Pastoral Company for $145 million, but major AAco shareholder, IFFCO, has reportedly thrown a hurdle in the way of its proposed purchase of Litchfield and Tipperary Stations in the Northern Territory.
Media reports stated that IFFCO, a Middle Eastern food processing company which holds almost 15pc of AAco's shares, is against the purchase.
The acquisition has divided AAco shareholders who will vote on the deal at a special general meeting later this month.
The company wants to buy the two properties, including 60,000 cattle, for $105m from barrister Alan Myers.
In a statement to the stock exchange last Thursday the company defended the acquisition, stating it was a "strategic fit with AAco's property portfolio".
"Few, if any of AAco's acquisitions are made purely on the basis of the financial performance under previous management," the statement reads.
"Rather, our primary focus is on valuation of the asset based on existing carrying capacity, grass types, rainfall, existing infrastructure including fencing and waters, [and] development potential... On this basis we are satisfied that the purchase represents good value to the company.
"Secondly, the financial metrics of the stations being acquired will change substantially when they are integrated into the AAco system."
In the meantime, AAco has completed the transaction with Paraway, which is part of the Macquarie Pastoral Group.
The $145.7m deal involves the sale of three Gulf properties plus 53,000 branded cattle.
"This sale now allows AAco to move forward on its strategy to re-weight its flexible production systems to the lower priced grassfed market," AAco chief executive Stephen Toms said.
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