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Landcorp teams up with Wairakei Pastoral for Crafar farms bid

Wednesday 7th July 2010

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Landcorp Farming has entered into a joint venture with Wairakei Pastoral to bid for the Crafar family farms.  

The venture, if successful, would see a new company half-owned by Landcorp and half-owned by Wairakei own the Crafar farms, with the state-owned enterprise managing the land. The two companies have previously partnered on Wairakei land in the North Island’s central plateau.  

“We’ve already been partners in an investment venture for about six years now,” chief executive Chris Kelly said.

“We’re both long-term investors in land, they’re sound businessmen and New Zealanders.” 

The tender for the Crafar farms closes today with rival Hong Kong-based Natural Dairy (NZ) having the advantage of a conditional contract provided it can get Overseas Investment Office (OIO) clearance, while former owner Allan Crafar told Radio New Zealand that he was trying to raise enough money to buy back the farms.  

Kelly said if the joint bid is successful, Landcorp and Wairakei will assess each of the 16 farms, with some likely to be sold off, but others possibly joining the core of each partners’ business.  

Wairakei is owned by Dean Farmer, Ross Green and NBR rich-lister Mark Wyborne.

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