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

 

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

The Nation: Call For Cross-Party Auckland Housing Plan

Penny Hulse calls for cross-party accord on Auckland housing because “it’s too important to score political points on”. More>>

ALSO:

Flu Season: Overcoming Vaccination Reluctance

While research shows that 40% of New Zealand businesses offer free or subsidised flu vaccinations to employees this time of year, HR professionals say persuading staff to participate is the biggest challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news