Foreign owner ban scuttles Australia's biggest land sale

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An official says a ban on foreign investors buying a pioneering dynasty's ranch holdings has scuttled Australia's biggest land sale.

The government announced Thursday it had barred foreigners from buying S. Kidman & Co. Ltd.

It has 10 cattle ranches, a bull breeding stud and a feed lot covering 101,411 square kilometers (39,155 square miles). That's bigger than South Korea and almost as big as the U.S. state of Virginia.

Sales official Don Manifold said Friday the ban excludes the few consortiums still in the bidding process.

Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board found that the sale to foreign investors would be contrary to the national interest, partially on security grounds.

Kidman owns the world's biggest cattle ranch, Anna Creek Station. Half of it is inside a military rocket firing range.