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Apple Fields clinches big deal

By Chris Hutching

Friday 24th November 2000

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TOM KAIN: Firm had reduced debt by $75 million
Apple Fields will settle the sale of its last substantial block of land secured to the Rural Super Bond Superannuation Scheme on December 18 - two days after a court hearing to defend a statutory demand.

The Noble Block at Yaldhurst is being sold for $3.6 million into a joint venture with an unidentified party for future rezoning and development.

Once the Noble deal is done Apple Fields would be left with about $1 million after satisfying its super bond scheme, Apple Fields managing director Tom Kain said.

The statutory demand facing Apple Fields relates to a claim for costs in the long-running court battle with developer Robin Hughes and his partner, Ken Smith, in which Apple Fields is seeking a return of the Styx block north of Christchurch or damages of around $10 million.

Apple Fields is contesting the right of Messrs Hughes and Smith to make the statutory demand for $200,000 in costs with the result of the October Appeal Court hearing yet to be handed down.

The developers are banking on winning the case and the subdivision is going ahead with several houses now built.

The court battle saw Apple Fields' shares fall to 2.6c before recovering this week to 4c.

Mr Kain said that since November 1996 Apple Fields had reduced its debt by nearly $75 million to virtually nothing once the final settlement on Noble Park was completed.

The company would continue with its property development rezoning efforts over several of the properties that were in joint ventures.

The company also has tax losses available of about $50 million. One other industrial property remains for sale: the Westside Business Park developed by Apple Fields.

Bond Offer: Infratil Ltd, 7.2 year & 10.2 year unsecured unsubordinated bond


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