What Swedish fund paid for Hart farms

Former Carter Holt Harvey farms sold at a heavy discount.

A Swedish pension fund paid about $60 million for eight Waikato dairy farms formerly owned by NBR Rich Lister Graeme Hart.

As reported in the National Business Review print edition, Southern Pastures Ltd Partnership bought the eight farms formerly owned by two companies controlled by Mr Hart's Rank Group.

The farms, spread over 3205ha, were part of an original package of 29 former Carter Holt Harvey farms on former forestry land put up for sale in 2010.

Forsta AP-fondens, which manages about a quarter of Sweden's national pension reserves, is the 99% holder of Southern Pastures.

It paid 316 million Swedish krona, or $60.16 million at today's exchange rate, for the farms, according to the fund's 2012 annual report.

The average price in the Waikato last year was reportedly $39,976 per hectare, meaning the former Hart farms were sold for a heavily-discounted $18,771 per hectare.

The New Zealand company in the partnership is Hamilton-based Southern Pastures Founders, whose directors are Prem Maan, Phillip Wight, Taaringaroa Nicholas and ex-All Black captain Graham Mourie.

Mr Mourie will manage the farms through sister company Southern Pastures Management.

Southern Pastures' plans for the farms include converting further forestery land into pasture and installing lined effluent ponds, as well as building feed pads, feed storage facilities and two new houses for workers.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz

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