MT SCHANCK station’s incoming owner Darren Thomas says the opportunity to buy the blue ribbon South East property was too good to pass by.
The Thomas family, owners of Australia’s largest fully family-owned meat processing company Thomas Foods International, secured the iconic 2870-hectare sheep and cattle property with a $50 million-plus offer made on cash terms.
“Mt Schanck has a remarkable history and will continue to play a key role in Australia’s agricultural sector,” Mr Thomas said.
“Through TFI we have enjoyed a long association with this property, sourcing high quality livestock over two decades. We know firsthand the outstanding quality of the asset and stock it can produce.”
TFI’s chief executive said his family was proud to continue the property’s tradition of Australian family ownership, and considered Mt Schanck to be “among the jewels of not just SA’s, but the nation’s agricultural holdings”.
“The property is a real credit to the Evans family and how they have continued to improve the holding over the years,” Mr Thomas said. “My father Chris and I now look forward to taking over the reins and carrying on that legacy.”
He said the Thomas family purchase was part of an ongoing plan to invest further in agriculture.
“Our family holds a very positive long-term outlook for Australian agriculture and this acquisition reflects that confidence,” he said.
The Thomas family is adopting a “business as usual” approach to its new property with all staff to be retained and settlement expected before Christmas.
“In the future it’s likely the property’s output may ultimately filter through the Thomas Foods International global network in some shape or form,” he said.
“We could even see some Mt Schanck beef and lamb grace some of the finest restaurants throughout the world. However that’s still to be determined.”
Mt Schanck was listed on the open market for the first time in its history in October, offered on a walk-in, walk-out basis.
The Thomas family, through Thomas Farms Rural, has acquired significant SE landholdings in recent years, particularly in the Millicent area.