THE highly regarded Pegunny aggregation in the blue ribbon Moura district, owned by Rockhampton-based businessman, Bill Reid, has been placed under contract.
The successful purchasers are Hewitt Cattle Australia, a strategic joint venture between the Hewitt family and Canadian Pension Fund, Public Sector Pension Investment Board.
The deal involves a total of 31,000 hectares and includes the home property Pegunny, and high quality finishing holdings of nearby Anglestone and Roundstone.
Pegunny has been owned and operated by the Reid family for more than 50 years, and was founded by the late Gordon Reid.
The aggregation has grown with the purchase of adjacent properties over the last couple of decades.
When Queensland Country Life caught up with Mr Reid earlier this week, he confirmed that contracts were exchanged for the sale of the Pegunny aggregation last Friday.
Mr Reid said that at no stage had the Pegunny aggregation been placed on the market.
"We saw the offer as an opportunity to diverse in the direction we wanted to go, and that is trading in meat, rather than cattle," Mr Reid said.
Mr Reid said Pegunny Pastoral would continue to operate its integrated supply chain supplying beef to targeted beef customers and partners in China through a meat trading business.
This would now be based on the company's remaining 4000ha Moura district property, Coomealla, which was not included in the sale to Hewitt Cattle Australia.
"There was talk of Chinese investment with us here in Australia at one stage, and while that is still ongoing, it has not come to any agreement yet," Mr Reid said.
"But we see our future as a meat company in the Chinese market."
When asked if Mr Reid would look to re-invest in other rural investment possibilities he replied "anything is possible".
Mick Hewitt, director of Hewitt Cattle Australia, said his company saw the buying of the Pegunny Aggregation as an opportunity to acquire a powerful landholding in one of Australia's prime grazing regions capable of delivering stable long term returns to their shareholders.
"Pegunny is undoubtedly rare given its scale, climate and location, and is a testament to the Reid family's dedication to the rural industry over two generations," Mr Hewitt said.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to acquire, and continue to invest in this cornerstone asset.
"Pegunny will be used to supply prime slaughter cattle to the eastern based processor markets."
While no price, or cattle numbers were disclosed under the confidential agreement, industry sources are suggesting a sale value of $50 million.