Lochinver Station sold to NZ farming group

  • 05/11/2015

By Jonathan Underhill

Lochinver Station, the 13,843 hectare sheep and beef station near Taupo that China's Shanghai Pengxin was prevented from buying, has sold to a New Zealand farming group, Rimanui Farms.

No price was disclosed. Shanghai Pengxin had agreed to pay $88 million for the property, adding to an existing portfolio that includes the former Crafar farms.

That sale had been approved by the Overseas Investment Office only to be vetoed by the government.

Mike Bayley, managing director of Bayleys Real Estate, which handled the sale, said a combination of factors meant the property attracted local interest in the property "at a higher value than was the case early last year when we first marketed the station."

Lochinver had a capital value of $70.6 million and the vendors, the Stevenson Group, had undertaken about $3.5 million of capital improvements, he said.

"Since the original sales contract was signed over 14 months ago, prices for top quality sheep and beef farms have risen significantly, primarily on the back of a very strong beef sector," Bayley said in a statement.

Stevenson chief executive Mark Franklin said proceeds from the Lochinver sale would be reinvested in the company's core businesses of mining, quarrying, concrete and associated investments around these industries, including the development of a major new industrial subdivision around its large quarrying operations in Drury, South Auckland.

Last month, Shanghai Pengxin says it will seek a judicial review of the government's decision to decline its purchase of Lochinver Station.

It also walked away from a farm purchase in Northland, citing the long wait for a response from the OIO.

Rimanui Farms is a large-scale sheep and cattle producer, according to a 2011 submission to the Commerce Commission.

Its owners are Allan Wadams and Arthur Young of Birkenhead, Auckland, according to the Companies Office.