DomaCom remains bullish on agri investments

From
Arthur Naoumidis

Arthur Naoumidis

Crowdfunder DomaCom is identifying fresh pastures to give investors the opportunity to acquire a stake in Australia’s agribusinesses in the wake of the sale of the iconic Kidman & Co to mining magnate Gina Reinhart and Chinese interests.

DomaCom CEO Arthur Naoumidis yesterday announced the launch of a new crowdfunding campaign that would start soon for a prime northern Queensland beef breeding property that boasted “substantial improvements” across the asset.

“What our Kidman bid demonstrated is the enormous appetite among investors to acquire agricultural assets. People are motivated by a desire to keep prime rural land in Australian hands, as well as the opportunity for steady yield and capital gain.

“To this end we have identified this north Queensland property that has a carrying capacity of 4500 head of cattle, with a long-term capacity to exceed this number.

“The property has been in the same family for the past 120 years, and what our crowdfunding proposal will allow is for this family to retain a significant amount of the equity in the DomaCom book-build, with the capital raised via crowdfunding to be used to pay off bank debt and allow the family to focus on operating the business.”

Naoumidis said the Kidman Station crowdfunding campaign had been a “remarkable exercise”, with the company staggered by the public response.

“We received around $80 million worth of pledges from 5500 investors of which nearly 600 had opened accounts with the DomaCom Fund.”

The Kidman campaign, which has been wound up, while always a very ambitious exercise, has at least played an important role in stirring the debate that has seen majority ownership of this asset remain in Australian hands.

“On the back of this campaign, I now believe there is a real opportunity is for us to use this momentum to address the funding issue for our Australian farmers at a more grass roots level.

We will focus our energies on more attainable rural opportunities that we believe will have significant structural benefits for Australian farmers by keeping families on the land with a minimum of debt and helping prevent the sale of properties to overseas interests.”

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