China’s Shanghai Pengxin seeks approval to buy Lochinver Station
"Unless they're planning to dig up the farm and transport it to China, who cares? Any investment they make will benefit NZ so what's the problem?"Featured comment
Shanghai Pengxin – the Chinese company that bought the Crafar dairy farms – is seeking approval to buy one of New Zealand’s most valuable farms.
The company has confirmed signing a sale and purchase agreement for Lochinver Station, a 13,800ha property near Taupo that has a rateable value of more than $70 million.
The deal, signed by Pengxin subsidiary Pure 100 Ltd, is now before the OIO and will also go through the Chinese regulatory approval process prior to settlement, the company says via a spokesman.
The statement was issued following comments from Conservative Party leader Colin Craig, who is campaigning on the issue of foreign ownership.
"Although the deal has been agreed between the parties, and the Overseas Investment Office have received an application, the deal has not been disclosed to the public," Mr Craig said in a statement.
"We believe voters should be aware of what's going on behind closed doors, this is clearly an election issue."
A Bayleys source tells NBR ONLINE that tender notices for the property were handed to the vendor – Stevenson Group – earlier this year, but he was unable to confirm the identities of the other bidders.
The government approved the sale of the 16 central North Island Crafar farms to Shanghai Pengxin in 2012.
Those properties are in close proximity to Lochinver Station.
Stevenson Group is owned by the Stevenson family, whose net wealth climbed to $250 million in 2014, up from $180 million in 2013, according to the just-released NBR Rich List.
Described as one of the country’s largest and most productive farms, Lochinver Station has been under their ownership for more than half a century.
In an advertisement Bayleys says it expects the sale price to exceed the biggest farm transactions undertaken in the past five years, including St James Station in Canterbury for $45 million, a rural Dipton property in Southland that sold for $33 million, and Mt Pember Station in North Canterbury, which sold recently for close to $30 million.
Lochinvar is on the Rangitaiki Plains, 32km from Taupo and 92km from Napier.
It is a sheep and beef breeding and finishing and dairy support station with three airstrips, a lake, a recreational hunting block, 22 houses that accommodate the families of 20 permanent staff, a staff recreation centre, a school, 91kms of well formed pumice roads, six cattle yards, three woolsheds and other farm buildings.
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