3 Feb 2012

Crafar farms legal challenge begins

9:58 am on 3 February 2012

A legal challenge relating to the sale of the Crafar farms to the Chinese Shanghai Pengxin company will be heard in the High Court in Wellington on Friday.

Earlier this week, rival New Zealand bidder the Crafar Farms Purchase Group secured a judicial review of the receivership sale in relation to the Overseas Investment Office's recommendation and the Government's approval of the sale.

It is part of an ongoing battle by the group of farming and Maori interests headed by Sir Michael Fay to prevent the 16 North Island farms being sold to Shanghai Pengxin and to have its own bid accepted.

Last week, lawyers for the Fay bid were given paperwork related to the sale and it was agreed there would be no settlement of the sale to the Shanghai Pengxin group before 5pm on Friday.

A New Zealand representative for Shanghai Pengxin says the company is confident the sale will go ahead despite Friday's hearing.

Meanwhile, the receivers KordaMentha have extended the deadline for the sale becoming unconditional to 7 February.