Court scrap over who owns the Crafar cows

Free audio stream, including stories that are padlocked on our site. Listen on any device, anywhere. Updated twice daily. The audio stream takes several seconds to start on Android devices.

Launch Radio player

An agribusiness lending company is in a High Court battle with the banks over who owns a herd of cows formerly owned by the collapsed Crafar family farming empire.

In October last year Michael Stiassny and Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha were appointed receivers of a number of Allan Crafar companies.

The companies owned 16 farms that are up for sale, with the UBNZ/Natural Dairy bid for the farms awaiting Overseas Investment Office approval.

The receivers have gone to court on behalf of Westpac, which acted as an agent for the banking syndicate of Crafar lenders that also included Rabobank and PGG Wrightson.

They claim Plateau Farms breached a general security agreement (GSA) when it sold livestock to StockCo, a specialist stock financing company whose directors include former Fay Richwhite high-flyer Martyn Reesby.

Queen’s counsel Bruce Stewart, the lawyer for the receivers, said today the deal in question was a sale of 4000 heifers to StockCo for $3.2 million.

He said the sale was driven by Mr Crafar’s urgent need for money to fund a farm purchase by Nugen Farms, a company owned by a family trust associated with Mr Crafar’s son Robert.

Nugen Farms, which wasn’t one of the four companies covered by the GSA, is separately in receivership and liquidation.

Mr Stewart said the basis of the receivers’ claim is that Plateau Farms needed to get permission from Westpac before the sale went through.

Westpac, he said, probably wouldn’t have approved it because it would have wanted any sale proceeds to be used to pay down debt rather than buying new farms.

The question to be determined by Justice Douglas White is whether the sale of the cattle was in the ordinary course of business for the Crafar group of companies.

The hearing is set down for nine days.


Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7139 -0.0048 -0.67%
AUD 0.9311 -0.0078 -0.83%
EUR 0.6512 -0.0045 -0.69%
GBP 0.4654 -0.0036 -0.77%
HKD 5.5338 -0.0390 -0.70%
JPY 88.2770 -0.7080 -0.80%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1188.0 2.350 2015-05-28T00:
Oil Brent 63.2 0.500 2015-05-28T00:
Oil Nymex 57.7 0.110 2015-05-28T00:
Silver Index 16.6 0.020 2015-05-28T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5777.6 5834.8 5777.6 0.93%
NASDAQ 5096.3 5106.6 5106.6 -0.17%
DAX 11716.1 11773.8 11771.1 -0.79%
DJI 18154.1 18154.1 18163.0 -0.20%
FTSE 7033.3 7049.6 7033.3 0.11%
HKSE 27398.3 27559.4 27454.3 0.30%
NI225 20510.3 20626.2 20551.5 0.16%