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Synait shares dive after unfavourable court decision on Poke

By Jenny Ruth

May 10 (BusinessDesk) - A Court of Appeal judgment has thrown into doubt the ownership of the land on which Synlait Milk has built its new Pokeno factory.

When Synlait purchased the land in February 2018, that was conditional on the seller, Stonehill Trustee, procuring the removal of the covenants on the land which restricted its use to lifestyle farming or forestry.

A High Court decision last year had removed the covenants but the owner of adjacent land, Ye Qing and his company New Zealand Industrial Park, has won his appeal against that decision.

Synlait says it is working through what the Court of Appeal decision will mean for its Pokeno plant.

“We will take some time to review the decision and consult with various advisors,” Synlait chief executive Leon Clement says.

The Pokeno plant is due to be commissioned for the upcoming 2019/20 dairy season.

Synlait shares fell as much as 6 percent to $9.90 in morning trading before recovering to $10.01.


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