Saudi Arabian government owned Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) has announced its first agricultural investment in Australia with the acquisition of Baladjie Pty Ltd.
In a public statement, the Baladjie is described as an aggregation of over 200,000 hectares of farming situated in Western Australia’s wheat belt that also carries a 40,000-head Merino sheep flock.
SALIC said the the aggregation comprised John and Julie Nicoletti’s farming interests and other third-party options, adding that the transaction has obtained a receipt of non-objection approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
Matthew Jansen, chief executive officer of SALIC KSA described the acquisition as an important step for SALIC as it continues with its effort to build the company’s global footprint in a meaningful way.
“It is our first acquisition in Australia as well as our first investment in sheep production,” Jansen said.
According to the statement, the local team in Australia is expected to build on the legacy of John Nicoletti, said Willaim England, SALIC’S head of production agriculture investments, adding that there are plans for the local team to manage the livestock and grain production enterprise for the long term with a focus on sustainability, profitability, environmental responsibility and support for the local rural community.
In an explanatory note accompanying the statement, the company said SALIC Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of SALIC KSA, a Riyadh-based investment company 100 percent owned by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund- the Public Investment Fund (PIF). It added that SALIC aims to be a world-class food security focused agribusiness investment company, making sizeable, meaningful and scalable investments while ensuring a balanced risk optimized portfolio.
SALIC focuses on the food security objective of Saudi Arabia while maintaining commercial discipline, investing in new projects while taking existing agribusiness projects to new heights.