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TasAg farm sales top $100M

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 6th December 2000

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Tasman Agriculture (NZSE: TAS) says group debt should drop to just under $10 million by the middle of next year following its dairy farm sell-off.

Tas Ag currently holds unconditional contracts for the sale of 28 dairy farms, with proceeds totaling $106.1 million. The sales figure includes $2.7 million for a mid-Canterbury property auctioned on Monday.

Total sales to date comprise a total of 6,400 hectares, with an average sales price of $16,577 per hectare, and have generated a gain on sale 20% above values recorded in TasAg's 2000 financial statements.

TasAg CEO, Ray Parker, says having $106 million of unconditional sales today will reduce group debt to just under $10 million by June next year.

"We will have a very strong balance sheet and the capacity to consider opportunities for the use of the capital that will be realised from the sales process."

Opportunities for TasAg, which is 66% owned by Brierley Investments (NZSE: BIL) include further dairy conversion through its Development Company and the potential to repatriate capital to shareholders through another share buy back.

Mr Parker says capital efficiency is very high on the list of priorities for the company and the TasAg board will review capital requirements in line with the half-year result in February.

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