Twain ex hubby's loss making company buys Coronet

The Overseas Investment Office has confirmed a recent NBR report about the sale of Coronet Peak Station to a company owned by Mutt Lange, the former husband of Shania Twain.

Soho Property has been given the go ahead to buy the Crown pastoral lease over the 22,200ha station at 1127 Skippers Rd, Queenstown. The company also owns leasehold interests in neighboring Motatapu Station (24,731ha), Mt Soho Station (7900ha) and Glencoe Station (8579ha) near Wanaka). Ms Twain and Mr Lange bought Motatapu and Mt Soho for a reported $21.5 million in 2004.

The latest deal delivers control over several kilometres of the boundary of the Shotover River, a prime fishing river.

The Overseas Investment Office states that Coronet Peak Station has moderate pastoral value with a serious feral goat problem, and has significant problems in relation to wilding trees and other unwanted plant species.

“The applicant intends to continue to use Coronet Peak Station primarily for general farming. Merino sheep will be farmed on areas identified as having sustainable farming value and those areas will be developed in line with the applicant's practices on its existing farming operations. The Applicant expects to be able to carry 4000 sheep.

“The applicant also wishes to capitalise on eco and adventure tourism opportunities which go hand in hand with the extensive conservation work already undertaken by the applicant on its existing farming operations at Glencoe, Mt Soho and Motatapu Stations."

However the Gibralter-incorporated Soho Property appears to be run as a loss making entity which now has $12.3 million in tax losses. In the year to June 2010 Soho Property lost $3.3 million and in recent years has posted losses of around $2 million. Earnings from wool and other agricultural activities gleaned $570,309 but were outweighed by expenses including depreciation ($1.4 million).

The rateable value of the property in mid-2008 was $5.5 million.