The government has turned down Natural Dairy’s attempt to buy the Crafar Farms.
Hon Maurice Williamson and Hon Kate Wilkinson have today declined consent to Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings Limited to acquire the Crafar farms.
The Ministers’ decision covers the applications by Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings Limited to acquire UBNZ Assets Holdings Limited and 16 of the Crafar farms.
The Ministers also declined consent to UBNZ Assets Holdings Limited’s retrospective application to acquire the four Crafar farms it purchased in February 2010.
“We concur with the Overseas Investment Office’s recommendation that consent should be declined,” the Ministers said.
That’s not surprising, nor is the news that Landcorp isn’t putting in a fresh offer for the 16 farms, although it is intimating the existing one would stand should the receivers show any interest in it.
Landcorp says it would still be interested in the purchase but is unlikely to substantially increase its original offer.
The company makes a pitiful return on the capital it already has invested in farms, it shouldn’t take on any more, not even to sort them out then on-sell them individually.
That would mean the state taking on the risk and passing on the benefit to individuals.
Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson wants the farms back on the market to be sold individually. A view which Adolf has been promoting from the start.
That would increase the number of likely buyers and could well result in a better total price than if the farms were sold as a unit.