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Apple Fields faces $50m tax loss

By Chris Hutching

Friday 23rd June 2000

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Corporate orchardist-turned-property company Apple Fields is contemplating its future as it finalises the refinancing the last of its properties owed to the Rural Super Bond superannuation scheme (RSB).

Over the past year the former orchardist was forced to sell its properties faster and for lower prices after the trustee of the RSB, Tower Trust, last year appointed receivers to the properties secured to the scheme.

The sales are nearly complete except for one 41ha block of land near Christchurch airport called the Noble property, also secured to the scheme.

Managing director Tom Kain said a joint-venture partner was lined up for the Noble property and a first mortgage was being arranged to satisfy the amount owed to the RSB.

The structure of the deal is similar to others involving blocks at Johns Rd, Wigram and Shands Rd where Apple Fields retains a joint venture interest.

"Essentially we sell the interest in the land to investors who supply the funding and we complete rezoning plans and share part of the final profit."

Once the sale of the Noble block is completed the company will have no debt compared with $75 million two years ago, no fixed assets, four executives and $50 million in tax losses available against future income.

Mr Kain said the tax losses might be regarded as contingent assets. There were no plans to delist from the Stock Exchange.

A possible windfall profit may come from a pending court ruling about the $13 million disputed sale of the Styx block of land on the northern periphery of Christchurch.

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