CK Life Sciences International (Holdings) Inc, a Hong Kong-based biotechnology company, is close to completing the acquisition of one of Western Australia’s largest grain producers, continuing its expansion in the overseas agri-food industry. A subsidiary of conglomerate Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, the Chinese firm has offered $24 million for Nicoletti Group, an exporter of wheat and barley, according to Xinhua News Agency. The agreement between the two was reportedly finalized on Thursday [21 January 2016], pending approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board…Full Article: China Daily Jan 2016

Key Point

  • Once approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, CK Life Sciences would acquire 68,000 hectares of land (spread across five farms) and a 15,000 metric ton grains storage complex located north of Perth, Western Australia.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2015, the Australian government vetoed the sale of S. Kidman and Co., a major cattle operator, on national security grounds.
  • In March 2015, Australia passed a law requiring Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval for the sale of agricultural land valued over AUD 15 million (~US$10.8 million).
  • Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Hong Kong, CK Life Sciences Int’l is an investment holding company that produces wine, salt, grass/turf, fertilizers, and crop protection products. Its agribusiness operations are primarily based in Australia.  The company has been traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 2002. CK Life Sciences Int’l is a subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings, a Hong Kong conglomerate.

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