Synlait takeover decision for two ministers

Last updated 07:54 29/11/2013

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The Chinese bid to buy 13 Canterbury dairy farms owned by Synlait Farms will be decided by two ministers.

The Overseas Investment Office said yesterday the application for consent was being processed.

OIO manager Annelies McClure said Associate Minister of Finance Jonathan Coleman and Minister for Land Information Maurice Williamson would make the final decision.

The company bidding for Synlait Farms is SFL Holdings, 74 per cent owned by a subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin, which bought the 16 Crafar farms, comprising about 8000 hectares, in late 2012 after a lengthy court battle.

Two Canterbury founders of Synlait, John Penno and Juliet Maclean, are taking a 10 per cent and 16 per cent stake in SFL with Shanghai Pengxin.

Yesterday SFL Holdings said it had received 91.16 per cent acceptances for its $2.10 a share takeover bid for Synlait Farms.

It can now force other shareholders to sell.

The SFL offer remains conditional on it being granted approval by the ministers and Chinese regulatory authorities. The closing date for the offer is December 20.

If the bid is successful Shanghai Pengxin will control about 12,000 hectares of New Zealand land.

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- The Press

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