Chinese company buys two Australian watermelon farms in "big sale"

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-23 09:26:28|Editor: Yang Yi
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CANBERRA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese investment firm has completed one of the largest horticultural purchases in the history of Australia's Northern Territory (NT).

Hong Kong-based CK Hutchinson Holdings on Friday completed the purchase of two NT watermelon farms for 27.5 million Australian dollars (19.9 million U.S. dollars).

The two farms, formerly owned by local brothers Stuart and Kane Younghusband, cover a total area of 1,900 hectares near Mataranka, 420 km southeast of Darwin.

Ian Baker, an agricultural consultant in the NT, said the purchase is one of the biggest he could remember in northern Australia.

"In the (NT) horticultural industry, farms have been sold between five million AUD (3.6 million USD) and 10 million AUD (7.2 million USD), so this is a big sale," Baker told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday.

"It is a big sale in Australian terms. There are not many horticulture businesses (in Australia) that sell for this sort of money."

But he said he was more concerned about the new managers' ability to handle a farm in the NT's harsh conditions than he was about foreign investment in the NT.

"I have never been worried about money coming from overseas. The critical thing is having managers who are able to learn and develop the business," Baker said.