Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Fonterra won’t buy Tasmanian farms as focus stays on plants

Fonterra won’t bid for Tasmanian farms as focus stays on factories

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 26 (BusinessDesk) - New Plymouth-owned Tasman Farms, Van Diemen's Land Co's parent, wants to raise up to A$180 million, with at least A$100 million in fresh equity, and has attracted potential suitor from China, but won't see Fonterra Cooperative Group at the negotiating table.

The New Zealand dairy exporter, which reports its annual results today, won't invest in the Tasmanian farm upgrade, which has reportedly attracted interest from China Investment Corp, the US$200 billion sovereign wealth fund.

"Fonterra has a very strong relationship with VDL as their processing partner but our investment interests in Tasmania are focused on our factories at Spreyton and Wynyard, rather than farms," a Fonterra spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. "We are supportive of any suppliers who are looking to grow and develop their operations."

The investment in VDL's Woolnorth farm will be timely for the state after forestry group Gunns went into voluntary administration, putting some 600 jobs at risk. Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings this week returned from a trade mission that included pitching agriculture and mining investment opportunities to China Investment Corp.

Tasman Farms wants to grow its milk production capability to as much as 15 million to 18 million kilograms of milk solids from 5.76 million kg in the 2012 season. It is already Australia’s biggest dairy farmer and Fonterra's largest supplier on the other side of the Tasman.

This week VDL chief executive Michael Guerin said in a statement he was confident the expansion plans would raise enough funds with “a number of investors interested in the project.”

Two China Investment Corp executives spent two days visiting Van Diemen’s Woolnorth farm, Australia’s biggest dairy farm, having already inspected the rival Little Lion dairy operation in Tasmania, Fairfax Media reported. The sovereign wealth fund has approached the Foreign Investment Review Board for preliminary consultations, reports said.

Foreign ownership of land, particularly involving Chinese buyers, has been a thorny issue on both sides of the Tasman with Shanghai Pengxin’s purchase of the Crafar family farms in New Zealand set to face a challenge in the Supreme Court, while Australian approval for Shandong Ruyi to buy Queensland cotton farm Cubbie Station attracted heavy criticism from Opposition politicians.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Outage: Power Mostly Restored Overnight

Vector wishes to advise that all but 324 customers have been restored overnight. These customers are spread throughout the network in small pockets. The main St Johns feeder was restored around midnight allowing most of the customers in all affected areas to have power this morning. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Dairy Prices Drop To Lowest Since August 2009

Dairy product prices fell to the lowest level in more than five years in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by declines in butter milk powder and whole milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news