Published 31 January 2012
The Government approved Shanghai Pengxin Group Co Ltd’s purchase of the Crafar family’s 16 farms on Friday, a year after the portfolio’s receivers conditionally accepted it.
The Shanghai Pengxin bid still has to overcome a judicial review, brought by a group which Sir Michael Fay has fronted and scheduled for hearing in the Wellington High Court this week.
Shanghai Pengxin made its offer a month after the Government rejected the bid for that portfolio (plus 4 farms owned by another member of the Crafar family) by Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings Ltd, which was headed by Chinese businesswoman May Wang. She was bankrupted a fortnight before the Government decision.
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson and Associate Finance Minister Jonathan Coleman said on Friday they’d accepted the recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office to grant consent to Shanghai Pengxin subsidiary Milk NZ Holding Ltd to acquire the 16 Crafar farms.
Mr Williamson said: "It is clear that all criteria under sections 16 & 18 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 have been met, therefore we accept the recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office to grant consent.”
The ministers said Shanghai Pengxin’s acquisition would further support the supply of high quality dairy products into the Chinese market and help set the foundations for further economic & export opportunities with China.
They said stringent conditions policed by the Overseas Investment Office would ensure Shanghai Pengxin’s investment delivered substantial & identifiable benefits to New Zealand. These included investing more than $14 million into the farms, making them more economically & environmentally sustainable; protecting the Nga Herenga & Te Ruaki pa sites; and improving walking access to the Pureora Forest Park & Te Rere falls. Shanghai Pengxin would also establish an on-farm training facility for dairy farm workers.
Links: OIO recommendation
18 April 2011: Shanghai Pengxin lodges Crafar application
24 December 2010:Government rejects Natural Dairy bid for Crafar farms
13 December 2010: May Wang seeks suspension of bankruptcy order
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Attribution: Ministerial release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.