Prime Minister John Key has ruled out a hand-out from the Government for Silver Fern Farms to head off a rumoured Chinese investor.
The meat processing co-operative needs a $100 million cash injection, and a Chinese investor is rumoured to want a 50 percent share.
Mr Key unequivocally says there will be no taxpayer bailout.
"It would be up to whoever was acquiring it to make the case, and to convince the shareholders of Silver Fern Farms," he says. "It's not really a matter for the Government."
Mr Key says any potential buyers will follow the same path as any other foreign company wanting to invest here.
"It would go through the normal process and ministers would make that call," he says. "But there's no blanket, up-front saying 'no' just because it's Silver Fern Farms. It needs to go through the process."
An announcement from the co-op is expected any day now.
New Zealand First wants the Government to head off the Chinese bid.