China’s Fucheng Group has acquired a huge swathof Melbourne’s western urban fringe after buying the last remaining parcel of the Baillieu family’s Woodhouse Station for about $100 million.
The 4953-hectare rural property in Ballan Road near Melton was put up for sale two years ago by the Woodhouse Pastoral Company, whose shareholders include the Baillieus’ investment vehicle, Mutual Trust.
The trust was set up by patriarch William Lawrence Baillieu, who built the foundations for the family’s $568 million property fortune during the Melbourne land boom of the late 1880s.
Now amidst a new Melbourne land boom and the emergence of super wealthy Asian land barons, the family have sold the remaining portion of Woodhouse Station to Fucheng Group, a privately owned company led by self-made Chinese agribusiness billionaire Li Fucheng.
According to Forbes, Li Fucheng & Family are worth $US1.2 billion ($1.58 billion) with business interests spanning cattle breeding, beef processing, real estate and funeral services.