Sale of historic Nappa Merrie station

Elders Real Estate has today confirmed that an unconditional agreement has been entered into by its client, Santos, with respect to the sale of the historic “Nappa Merrie” station.

Situated about 300km west of Thargomindah, Nappa Merrie is the historical site of the Burke and Wills ‘Dig’ tree, on the banks of the Cooper Creek.

Boasting more than 720,000ha of large scale grass finishing properties, Nappa Merrie has capacity to run on average around 13,000 head of cattle, with significantly higher numbers in optimal seasonal conditions.

Elders’ General Manager of Real Estate, Tom Russo says it couldn’t be a more opportune time for Santos to divest in the current property cycle.

“We continue to receive extremely strong levels of interest for highly productive properties of this scale, which are in short supply. It’s an exciting time to be an investor in Australian agriculture as we see a perfect storm of robust commodity demand and prices, excellent seasonal conditions, and low interest rates creating unprecedented interest in quality Australian agricultural assets,” Mr Russo said.

“We are also witnessing the emergence of new classes of investors into Australian agricultural properties as a result of the strong macro-economic drivers for the sector and the desire to invest in highly productive land to achieve food security in the fast growing Asia Pacific region,” he said.

Santos said it was the appropriate time for the business to divest the property, whilst maintaining operational access.

“This is a commonsense decision to take advantage of the current environment in the agricultural sector as we continue to focus on our core business,” a Santos spokesperson said.

The sale of the property to an established Australian pastoral business is expected to settle prior to the close of the year. The purchase price will not be disclosed at this time.

Background on Nappa Merrie

Nappa Merrie was first settled in 1871, by John Conrick who drove cattle from Warrnambool and took up the original holding, just ten years after Burke and Wills travelled through the region.

Nappa Merrie is the historical site of the Burke and Wills ‘Dig’ tree, on the banks of the Cooper Creek.

The Coolibah tree was the site of Camp 65, where Burke and Wills had buried provisions leaving dig instructions carved in to the trunk.

Boasting more than 720,000ha of large scale grass finishing properties, Nappa Merrie has had an average seasonal capacity to run around 13,000 head of cattle. 2

Nappa Merrie is very well watered via the Cooper Creek which provides permanent and semi-permanent waterholes, plus numerous watercourses which also provide semi-permanent watering facilities. The property is also watered by some 20 bores, plus dams.