ONE of S Kidman & Co's signature properties, Quinyambie Station has been sold to the well-established Mutooroo Pastoral Company.
The 1.2 million-hectare property, near Broken Hill, which had been part of the Kidman empire for 94 years, was bought by the Morgan and Wells families. The contract was signed last Friday.
Mutooroo already owns a number of pastoral leases in the north east of the state, including adjoining Mulyungarie Station.
The sale undisclosed sale price, negotiated after expressions of interest, is believed to be within the $8 million to $10m asking price.
The long-term average stocking capacity achieved on Quinyambie has been 9000 head, but the sale included 1800 cattle after a run of dry seasons.
Mutooroo Pastoral Company's James Morgan said the company, which already had 110 kilometres of common boundary with Quinyambie Station, saw the purchase as a "terrific expansion" of their beef production.
Mutooroo is one of Australia's largest sheep producers, but is also running between 3000 and 4000 cows on Mulyungarie.
"Quinyambie is a terrific breeding property Kidmans have owned it for a long time and it has been a good property for them and hopefully it will be a good property for us too," he said.
Mr Morgan said the company would gradually rebuild numbers with the terrific season and was looking to to run a herd of 5000 to 6000 breeding females, plus calves, on Quinyambie.
"We had more significant rain in the past week just gone which will be good for the winter herbage," Mr Morgan said. "We know the seasons come and go but it is a nice start."
S Kidman & Co managing director Greg Campbell said the proceeds of the Quinyambie sale would be used to further develop the company's northern breeding properties, including Helen Springs via Tennant Creek, which needed an upgrade of fencing and watering systems.
"Some of the proceeds of the sale will be used on Helen Springs but part will also go to purchasing more feeder steers to capitalise on the good season which not only Quinyambie but the rest of the Kidman portfolio are enjoying," he said.
"We have already been seriously engaged in this activity but it eases the borrowing load."
Mr Campbell said although the company was not actively looking for another station the sale would further enhance its position to take up the "right property".
"Sometimes properties come up which are adjacent to our existing holdings or in areas where we have a long-term target and then we would entertain a purchase."
Elders rural real estate executive Peter Taylor said the sale of one of the largest properties ever offered in SA had drawn strong genuine interest from significant producers within the pastoral industry.
"The sale reflects the confidence and strength of the pastoral industry, with good prices for cattle and strong sheep and lamb markets," he said.
Elders has just listed Wonnaminta Station, 210 kilometres north east of Broken Hill, and Mr Taylor expected it to attract similar interest to Quinyambie because it was another station of substantial size with a 20,000DSE rating.
Wonnaminta will be auctioned on September 16.