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New Zealand Offer for Crafar Farms Remains On the Table

26 September, 2011

New Zealand Offer for Crafar Farms Remains On the Table

The $171.5 million New Zealand farmer-backed offer for the Crafar Farms remains on the table despite the decision by the receivers Korda Mentha not to accept a back-up offer to the current Chinese contract.

Sir Michael Fay, spokesman for the group of Central North Island farmers, said the decision by the receivers was disappointing but not surprising.

“We were always the back-up position but the current decision by the receivers doesn’t mean we are going away,” said Sir Michael. “Our group of buyers remains ready if the Overseas Investment Office rejects the current Chinese contract.”

“I can understand why the receivers would not want to send the wrong signal to the current prospective buyers by signing a back-up offer but that decision makes no difference to us at all in the long-term.

Steve Bignell the negotiator for the offer group said the receiver is taking the gamble of a better price subject to the OIO saying yes to the Chinese contract.

“Our offer is at a price that we firmly believe makes sense in that we are paying the right price for the long-term farming future of these properties. Over a certain price level, these farms don’t work”

Sir Michael said the OIO would eventually make the decision on whether or not Pengxin was the right buyer. In the meantime the group of local farmers would keep their offer in play.

“The key issue is do we want to be selling off large chunks of productive farmland to overseas owners or do we want to retain ownership of that land with genuine Kiwi farmers?”

Alan McDonald
Stare Public Relations


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