A farm the size of Christchurch has been sold to a North American investment group for an undisclosed sum.
Mt Pember Station in the Lees Valley, about 85 kilometres from the city, is among New Zealand's largest farms at 27,242 hectares.
The farm was owned by John and Bernice Ramsey and is an amalgamation of seven runs and stations - Mt Pember, Wharfedale, Kingsdown, De Bourbles, Island Hills, Snowdale and Okuku Hills.
The couple have farming interests in the North Island.
Approval had to be given by the Overseas Investment Office for the North American company to buy the property and livestock, understood to be 53,000 stock units, through its New Zealand-registered company, Lees Valley Station LLC.
The property will be managed by Grasslands NZ LLC, a farm management and consulting company, and will continue to be run as a grazing operation, chiefly for dairy support, sheep and beef.
Bayleys Canterbury agent Ben Turner said the domestic market was tested before the owners accepted the overseas offer.
He said the sale underscored the long-term value of New Zealand's primary sector.
The property includes 11 three-bedroom and four-bedroom homes, as well as five shearing sheds, many hay barns and storage sheds, several sets of cattle yards and sheep yards, workshops and other farm support buildings.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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