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Synlait seeks leave to appeal Pokeno land covenants decision

By Rebecca Howard

June 7 (BusinessDesk) - Synlait Milk has filed for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in an effort to remove covenants over its Pokeno site.

The company says it is still confident it can reach a solution with the involved parties, but lodged its application with the Supreme Court in Wellington today.

“This is really just the next step in the process as we continue to progress all our options,” chief executive Leon Clement said in a statement to the stock exchange. “We are also still in continued conversations with all parties and we remain confident of a positive outcome,” he said.

The land is being used for a second nutritional powder manufacturing site that is set to be commissioned in the current 2019-2020 dairy season.

When Synlait purchased the land in February 2018, it was conditional on the seller, Stonehill Trustee, procuring the removal of the covenants which restrict the site's use to grazing, lifestyle farming or forestry.

A High Court decision in November last year had removed the covenants and then Synlait took the title of the land. However, the owner of adjacent land,Ye Qing, won his appeal in the COurt of Appeal last month.

Clement said the company's plans for the site haven't changed.

“We will continue to work towards the existing project timetable including the build, commissioning and production." He said Synlait remains "committed to Pokeno as well as our shareholders and other stakeholders in Pokeno, such as our farmers, suppliers and staff."

Synlait shares were recently up 2.9 percent at $9.00 but had risen prior to the announcement.

(BusinessDesk)




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