Synlait Farms purchase approved

Last updated 14:31 05/03/2014

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A Chinese business now has a majority interest in about 12,000 hectares of New Zealand dairy farms after getting approval to buy Synlait Farms.

Shanghai Pengxin has a 74 per cent holding in SFL Holdings, which made a bid in November for the approximately 4000ha of dairy farms owned by Canterbury corporate dairy farmer Synlait Farms. Two of the founders of Synlait Farms, Juliet Maclean and John Penno, own the other 26 per cent of SFL Holdings.

Shanghai Pengxin also owns the 8000ha former Crafar Farms in the North Island, which it bought in 2012.

Synlait Farms notified the unlisted exchange today that the SFL Holding's bid had become unconditional after approvals were received from Chinese regulatory authorities.

Those were the last approvals needed after New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office gave the takeover the green light a month ago.

The board of Synlait Farms said it was advised yesterday that SFL had received all approvals, consents and orders necessary from each of the Chinese Municipal Development and Reform Commission, the Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission and the State Administration of Foreign Currency in China.

Some 99.58 per cent of shareholders had accepted the SFL offer which closed on January 29 and would be paid by next Tuesday.

The total offer price to be paid to shareholders is $2.22 a share. SFL offered $2.10 a share plus 0.1957 cents a day from January 1 until today, the date on which the offer became unconditional.

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- Fairfax Media

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