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QUEENSLAND cattleman Peter Camm has paid $28 million for Sir Graham McCamley's Glenprairie Station, north of Rockhampton, which shows an apparent increase in value since it was purchased in 2005 for $25 million.
Sir Graham, who is battling cancer, said he was reluctant to sell the property, The Australian Financial Review reports.
"I'm not looking back thinking whether it was sold too cheaply or not," he said.
"I was hoping to sell the other properties and keep Glenprairie. It's still the greatest place I know."
Sir Graham, who is being advised on his vast organic cattle business by Agrify's Jim Becker, Rockhampton, confirmed that he has given Mr Camm a first right of refusal on the remaining unsold properties in the Glenprairie aggregation.
Mr Camm gave his respects to Sir Graham and said he would sell some of his own properties to pay for the prize 27,000-hectare station, which he thought was the best he had ever seen.
"I base myself on McCamley. I remember when I was a child he flew in to buy some cattle off my father. After the sale he took off in his own plane and I thought, 'Bloody hell, I would like to do that one day'."
Mr Camm said he would now sell more than $20 million in properties. "I will not borrow a cent more to buy it," he said.
Mr Camm made his mark on the cattle station industry when he sold his Welltree/LaBelle station in the Northern Territory for a single cattle station record of $72 million, to R. M. Williams Agricultural Holdings.
The purchase of Glenprairie was a last-minute decision for Mr Camm.
As reported, prominent Townsville lawyer Barry Taylor of Emanate Legal was called in by Mr Camm at 6am the day the property was to be auctioned.
Glenprairie was then pulled from auction, leaving several bidders empty-handed.
Mr Camm noted that Fairfax's general manager for North Queensland Rural and Regional Media and Printing Jim Pola was on the phone to him when the property was pulled because a deal had been brokered.
"Jim said to me, 'Apparently it's been sold'. I just laughed out loud and he said, 'Why are you laughing – do you know the fella who has bought it?' and I said, 'Yeah I know him pretty well, it was me – I bought it this morning'."
The sale of the blue ribbon property, whose previous owners include the Holmes à Court family and Greek shipping tycoon Gregory Hadjieleftheriadis, gives an opaque guide to how cattle station values climbed during the boom of 2007 and have since fallen back down.
This year more than $100 million has been wiped off the books of four prominent cattle companies' top-class properties.
Glenprairie and the unsold adjoining three properties were once valued together at $82 million by Herron Todd White.
Elders Real Estate's Virgil Kenny was marketing the Glenprairie aggregation but was unable to comment.