THE NORTH AUSTRALIAN TERRITORY COMPANY.
The object for which Mr. R. Murray Smith went to London— namely, to float a Company to take over from Mr. C. B. Fisher his well-known squatting properties in
the North Australian territory — was (says the Argus), as has already been re- ported by telegram, successfully accom- plished by Mr. Murray Smith, from whom we have received some details of the transac- tion. The name of the Company is the North Australian Territory Company, Limited, and it has a nominal capital of £300,000, in addition to a debenture capital of £150,0C0. The nominal capital consists of 15,000 preference shares of £10 each and 15,000 deferred shares of £10 each. The preference shares will be entitled to a cumulative preferential dividend of 7 per cent, per annum, and after the deferred shares have received 7 per cent., the preference shares will be entitled to participate pro raid in the surplus profits. The deferred shares will not, however, rank for dividends until the third financial year of the Company. The Directors of the Company are Mr. Thomas Archer, C.M.G., late Agent- General for Queensland; Mr. Vicary Gibbs, of Antony Gibbs & Sons ; Mr. C. Parbury, of Messrs. F. Parbury & Co., Australian merchants; and Mr. R. J. Jeffray. The trustees for the debenture-holders are Mr. Henry H. Gibbs and the Right Hon. C. T. Ritchie, M.P., President of the Local Government Board in the British Cabinet. The ar- rangement made for floating the Com- pany is very satisfactory, and it is worthy- of remark that no promotion money has been paid to intermediaries, with the exception of an ordinary commission to the broker who carried the transaction through. The nominal price paid to Mr. Fisher for the property ia £300,000, of which £100,000 is from 6 per cent, debentures secured by ~ mortgage over all the pro- perties, £90,000 in cash, and £U0,C00 in deferred shares. The amount sub scribed by the public as investors was £110,000- in preference shares. Of that £110,000 Mr. C. B. Fisher receives £90,000 cash, and £20,000 is retained as working capital for the new concern. The Company also bave the right to issue £50,000 worth of de benture stock in addition to the £100,000 worth of that stock already placed, the re maining £40,000 worth of additional prefe- rence shares, and the same amount in de ferred stock. Out of the £110,000 worth of deferred shares held by Mr. Fisher, he gives £55,000 worth to the subscribers for the pre- ference stock, so that each holder of the preference stock receives one deferred share for every two preference shares of which he may be possessed. The sum of £9,000 has also been placed in the hands of the trustees by Mr. Fisher for payment of the interest on the £100,000 worth of debentures for the first eighteen months. The net amount received by Mr. Fisher is therefore only £236,000. out of which he has undertaken to pay all com- missions and charges incidental to floating the Company. The properties of which the new Company have become possessed are :— (1) 40,772 acres of carefully selected freehold land, half of which is situated on the western bank of the Adelaide River, about 40 miles from Port Darwin. The other half is about 9 miles from the same port, and is also in close proximity to the railway now in course of construction from Port Darwin to the goldfields. (2) 34,000 square miles of grazing and agricultural lands, held under lease from the S.A. Government, subject to the pro- visions of the Crown Lands Acts, for an average unexpired term of nineteen years at a nomin J annual rent of 2a. 6d. per square mile. It is probable that only 24,000 of the 34,000 square miles of leased land will be re- tained. The leased land is chiefly comprised in two large blocks — one, situated on the high tablelands of the Victoria River, being of a magnificent character, fit to carry a very large number of stock, and the other nearer Port Darwin. Besides having the ad- vantage of being watered by two magnifi- cent rivers— the Victoria and the Adelaide it is shown by Government statistics that the lands have for the last thirteen years enjoyed immunity from drought. The prospects of the new Company are very en- couraging, and it is hoped and believed that it will be the precursor of further favourable development of the Northern Territory. The Melbourne agents of tha Company are Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, & Co., and the management will be entrusted to Mr. W. H. Stevens, who has been in charge of the pro- perties for Mr. C. B. Fisher during the last five years.