UBNZ Assets Holdings has challenged the belief in court, which says that the Company needs to have Overseas Investment Office approval to purchase the remaining Crafar farms. UBNZ has a conditional sale agreement ready, to buy 16 Crafar Farms from Korda Mentha. If court determines that UBNZ does not need the approval, the sale could be settled sooner. The decision is expected to be released by next Friday latest.
Overseas Investment Office has provided the required evidences in the two-hour hearing to Auckland High Court. OIO has given the evidences to prove that UBNZ needs to get the consent from OIO, to buy the rest of farms from Korda Mentha. "While court proceedings were not brought against the OIO, we participated as regulator of the Overseas Investment Act", said Manager Annelies McClure.
Tenders for the Crafar Farms will be closing on June 23. As per the Overseas Investment Act 2005, consent is required by overseas associates intending to buy the sensitive land in New Zealand. UBNZ plans to have two steps in its plan: to acquire the farms and secondly to allow 20% owner Natural Dairy to purchase the rest of UBNZ.
The High court reserving its decision has indicated to produce the rule on June 11.