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Crafar bidders talking to legal advisers

Thursday 9th December 2010

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The Chinese investors who want to buy 16 Crafar family farms are talking to legal advisers after May Wang, who fronted the bid, was declared bankrupt.

Natural Dairy (NZ) vice chairman Graham Chin said the company was talking to the advisers and studying the issues.

However, a filing to the Hong Kong Stock exchange shows that Mr Chin was not re-elected as vice chairman at the annual meeting of the company in Hong Kong yesterday. The vote against his re-election was 99.836%. Another director Yen Feng was also not re-elected.

No substantial statements could be made to the media until such time as Natural Dairy had filed an announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, Mr Chin said in a statement.

Ms Wang was declared bankrupt in the High Court at Auckland yesterday.

The decision raises doubts about the future of the deal between Natural Dairy and the New Zealand-based UBNZ group involving the Crafar farms.

Ms Wang is listed as a director of UBNZ Trustee and UBNZ Funds Management, both of which are linked to the purchase of Crafar family properties.

She has said bankruptcy would undermine the Hong Kong-based Natural Dairy bid for the Crafar farms. Natural Dairy has an agreement with receivers to buy the farms, though it remains conditional on Overseas Investment Office consent.

Ms Wang owed creditors $22 million following the collapse of her hotel and property business Dynasty Group.

An offer to repay them 6c in the dollar was earlier this week rejected by the High Court in Auckland.

Ms Wang has appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal.

It has been reported that she has also indicated that she will be filing an appeal to quash her bankruptcy.



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