Twittersphere reveals buyer found for Leefield

PENNY WARDLE
Last updated 11:30 05/11/2012

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A large Waihopai Valley property in receivership is believed to have found a buyer.

The property is known as Leefield.

A representative of Auckland-based KordaMentha, which is managing the Leefield receivership, said a sale was in progress but the terms and conditions were confidential.

The price would eventually become clear as part of the receivership process, they said.

Real estate company Harcourts Marlborough said on Twitter on Thursday: "Leefield sold for just under $20m, about 800 hectares that could be planted, Marlborough is humming."

However when contacted by the Express, agents said they did not know anything about the sale or who made the tweet.

Nearby landowner Linda Rold confirmed the property had been sold to a New Zealander.

She lives on a block subdivided off Leefield when her family sold the property to Auckland entrepreneur Greg Olliver in 2006.

She was confident details of the sale would be publicised when the deal was finalised.

"It's very good news," she said. "You couldn't hope for a better owner."

Real estate company Bayleys offered the property for sale by tender. They described it as an accumulation of 14 titles spread over 1900 hectares with nine dwellings. About 820ha was flat to easy country suitable for intensive farming and the balance led into hill country up to 680 metres above sea level.

The tender did not include a 175ha portion where Mr Olliver had planned to build the biggest private dam in New Zealand.

Hydroco, thought to be part of the Todd family portfolio, has resource consent to build a dam holding up to 18 million cubic metres of water.

The Todd family also owns Bankhouse on the opposite side of the Waihopai River.

In 2009 the Express reported that receivers took over Mr Olliver's Leefield Vineyards with millions owing to funders.

Fifth-generation farmer Paddy Dillon sold Leefield to Per and Linda Rold in 1998.

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- The Marlborough Express

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