Landcorp Farming has gone with a back-up bidder for its Jericho Station sheep and beef farm in Fiordland after the preferred foreign buyer withdrew.
Source: 1 NEWS
State-owned Landcorp expects the new purchaser will complete the transaction in early June, spokesman Simon King said in a statement today.
Southland farmer Ed Pinckney was pipped by an $8.7 million offer from Chinese buyer Qianlong Farms when the 1400-hectare farm was put to market in late 2016.
"Pamu has been advised that the purchaser of Jericho farm has withdrawn their application from the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and is therefore unable to complete the purchase of the farm," Mr King said.
"As such we have proceeded to finalise the sale and purchase of the farm with the party that has made an unconditional back-up offer, which does not require OIO approval."
NZ First, which campaigned against foreign ownership of farmland, welcomed the news.
"It's a relief we can keep prime New Zealand farmland in Kiwi hands," said agriculture spokesman Mark Patterson.
"Considering the $200,000 difference in the offers, this should not have been such a convoluted process."
Mr Patterson said it had taken 12 months, which had affected Mr Pinckney's ability to purchase stock and provide winter feed.