Cra­far of­fer still on ta­ble

South Waikato News - - FARMING -

Chi­nese com­pany Shang­hai Pengxin still has a ‘‘ live’’ of­fer on the re­ceivers’ ta­ble for the Cra­far farms and is con­fi­dent a court chal­lenge to Government ap­proval of its pur­chase will be over­turned, says the farms’ man­ager-in-wait­ing, Land­corp.

The state-owned en­ter­prise’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Chris Kelly, was at Fiel­d­ays ad­dress­ing a sem­i­nar on for­eign and cor­po­rate own­er­ship of New Zealand land.

He said that Pengxin hoped by the mid­dle of next month that the chal­lenge by a group of Kiwi farm­ers and iwi led by Sir Michael Fay would have been heard and de­feated.

Land­corp, the coun­try’s big­gest farmer, has been con­tracted to man­age the 16 Cra­far farms by Pengxin – the pre­ferred bid­der of re­ceivers Kor­daMen­tha – whose $200 mil­lion- plus con­di­tional of­fer has now been twice ap­proved by the Government and its agency the Overseas In­vest­ment Of­fice.

The deal is con­di­tional on government con­sent but fol­low­ing the lat­est court chal­lenge by Fay’s group, Pengxin has de­clined to dis­cuss at what stage its of­fer is at and whether Pengxin has made it un­con­di­tional.

The Fay group hear­ing is early next month.

Asked if he be­lieved Pengxin would have got government con­sent if Land­corp was not con­tracted to man­age the farms, Kelly said he did not like to ‘‘duck’’ ques­tions, but he did not want to ‘‘sec­ond-guess’’.

Fay’s group claims that Pengxin would not have got the green light if Land­corp was not in­volved in its ap­pli­ca­tion to buy the 8000-hectare farm­ing es­tate.

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