CATTLE baron Peter Hughes is dissolving his partnership with long-time business partner Bill Scott after their sale of $169 million worth of property to Macquarie Pastoral Group.
The deal included 2.5 million hectares of cattle country in northern Queensland comprising
the 1.1 million hectare Davenport Downs, the 1 million ha Walhallow, the 242,000 ha Armraynald and an undisclosed number of Brahman and crossbred cattle at an average value of $550 per head.
The $400 million Georgina Pastoral Company will now be broken in two and Bill Scott Rural will manage its own stations such as Thylungra, west of Quilpie, Queensland, which the Scott family purchased last year from Clyde Agriculture, a subsidiary of the Britain-based Swire Group.
Mr Hughes, who retains the Georgina Pastoral name, will seek to consolidate and reinvest in his remaining two million-hectare empire which includes his family station, Tierawoomba, west of Mackay, in North Queensland.
Mr Hughes, whose family's pastoral roots trace back to the 1870s, has been behind some of the biggest rural property deals in Australian history. Most notably Mr Hughes and Mr Scott bought, through Georgina Pastoral, the Colonial Agricultural Fund's rural portfolio for more than $300 million in 2006.
"They are going their way and we are going our way," Mr Hughes said.
"It's been a very good relationship and we have done very well but they are a big family and they want to do it the way they want to do it."
*Extract from full report to appear in Stock & Land, February 5.