Jericho owner relieved sale process finally over
The new owner of Jericho Station says it is a relief a year-long process is finally over after the controversial sale of the big Manapouri hill country farm to a Chinese buyer fell through.
Southland farmer Ed Pinckney found out on April 10 that the Chinese bidder had withdrawn an application to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and is looking forward to taking over the property in June. ‘‘Relief is probably the best word really.
‘‘It’s been awesome to get it and we have been working on it for over a year.’’
Pinckney’s offer had been valid until the end of this month and while he had hoped the Chinese bidder would withdraw, he thought no official decision would be made yet. Last year, former owners Pamu (Landcorp) agreed to the Chinese $8.7 million offer for the 1359-hectare farm, Jericho Station, near Manapouri, in what would have been the first sale by Landcorp to a foreigner. The prospective Chinese buyer is believed to be Wenchen Du, who is a director of Qianlong Farms, a company established in November 2016. Pinckney had been in contention for the sheep and beef farm, though his offer was about $200,000 less. Pamu said in a statement it was advised that the original purchaser of Jericho farm had withdrawn an application from the OIO and was unable to complete the purchase of the farm.
‘‘As such we have proceeded to finalise the sale and purchase of the farm with the party that has made an unconditional back up offer, which does not require OIO approval. We expect the sale of the farm to be completed by the beginning of June. Pamu has no other farms currently for sale.’’
Pinckney was not against foreign ownership and investment, but also liked to see New Zealanders being able to buy land at an economic price and that notion had been challenged in the past.
Jericho Station has been bought by Southland farmer Ed Pinckney.