12 Apr 2011

New bid to buy Crafar farms expected this week

6:03 am on 12 April 2011

A new application to buy the Crafar farms under receivership is expected to go to the Overseas Investment Office this week.

Receivers Korda Mentha have conditionally accepted an offer from Pengxin International Group of Shanghai to buy the 16 North Island properties.

It made the offer in January after the OIO turned down another Chinese application from UBNZ Funds Management, which made a bid on behalf of the Natural Dairy company of Hong-Kong.

If the Pengxin Group gets approval from the Overseas Investment Office, the Crafar farms would become part of a diverse international business network that includes property, mining and agriculture.

Pengxin already has extensive farming operations in China, focused on sheep breeding, wheat and soybean production.

It's the biggest shareholder in a 12,500 hectare soybean and corn growing enterprise in Bolivia and is planning soybean and cotton production on 200,000 hectares in Brazil.

It also has agricultural interests in Argentina and Cambodia.