SAUDI AGRICULTURAL and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) has announced the acquisition of Baladjie Pty Ltd, an 'aggregation' of over 200,000 hectares of farming in Western Australia’s wheatbelt that also carries a 40,000-head Merino sheep flock.

The sale comprised John and Julie Nicoletti’s farming interests and other third-party options, and closed last Thursday after receipt of non-objection approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Commenting on the deal, SALIC Australia CEO, Matthew Jansen, said: “The acquisition of Baladjie is an important step for SALIC as we continue to build our global footprint in a meaningful way. It is our first acquisition in Australia as well as our first investment in sheep production.”

SALIC’s head of production William England, said that the local team would build on the legacy of Mr Nicoletti with plans 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.

Riyadh-based investment company SALIC aims to be a 'world-class food security focused agribusiness investment company', focused on the 'food security objective' of Saudi Arabia while 'maintaining commercial discipline, investing in new projects and taking existing agribusiness projects to new heights'.