Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd has bought the Willeroo Station on the Victoria Highway west of Katherine.
Willeroo, located approximately 100km west of Katherine in the Northern Territory, covers an area of 171,000 hectares holding around 20,000 head of cattle.
No price was given for the sale but it is known the Sultan of Brunei sold the station in 2014 to Indonesian company Agri International after it was passed in at auction for $12 million.
The Willeroo investment compliments the commitment of the HPPL group and its chair Gina Rinehart to invest in regional Australia with a special focus on Northern Australia.
This acquisition continues to build on Hancock Prospecting’s long history in northern Australia, Australian agriculture and Australian jobs.
The Hancock family are possibly the longest continuous owners of cattle stations in northern Australia, with Mrs Rinehart's ancestors commencing the first stations in northwest Australia (including Ashburton downs with the "h3b" brand, Hancock 3 brothers, instituted by their father) in the second half of the 1800’s, after members of their family arrived at Cossack, near Roebourne, and established the first port and town at those locations.
“We were interested to secure Willeroo because we believe we can add improvements and value to the station, where we will copy what we have introduced successfully on our other Hancock stations, and are currently rolling out across Kidman properties also. Willeroo will well complement our existing investments in the north,” Mrs Rinehart said.
“It is adjacent to Aroona which we acquired earlier this year allowing us to operate the two stations as a combined unit.
“Also being near to the Phoenix park export depot it will assist part of the wet season growing program for Riveren and Inverway as well as help to provide better market timing opportunities for some of Hancock Beef’s Kimberley cattle stations.”
Hancock Agriculture chief executive David Larkin said with continued investment and introducing the new technology and cattle welfare programs trialed successfully at Hancock properties, our beef portfolio will grow, presenting greater tools for management and economies of scale with an opportunity to increase stock numbers and productivity.
Willaroo was owned by the Indonesian based Agri International Pty Ltd .
Agri International, is a related company of one of the major lot feeding operations in Sumatra, Indonesia who have been importing Australian live cattle for almost 30 years, to supply their two Indonesian feedlots with a capacity of over 35,000 head.
Willeroo Station, is primarily a breeding property and Agri International spent over $4 million in extensively improving and upgrading the property in their time of ownership. This had been by way of significant water developments, a fencing and cattle yard program, as well as staff facilities.