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China in Talks Over Tasmania Farms

30 June 2014

AUSTRALIA - Chinese buyers appear to be considering the purchase of the controversial multimillion-dollar Tasmanian farms.

Owned through the district council's Perpetual Investment Fund (Pif) and administered by Taranaki Investment Management (Timl), the Tasmanian properties have a book value of $152 million at balance last year, reports NZ Farmer.

New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd confirmed that Timl had buyers interested in the $152 million properties.

"Timl is negotiating with buyers and we are getting our heads around what that could mean," he said.

Judd said he believed the buyers were a syndicate from China. There was no estimated time of sale, Judd said, but he hoped to know more after his visit to the farms next month.

Last September it was reported that it was believed that Timl's managers were closing in on a sale with Chinese interests.

The year before it was reported that the Chinese Investment Corporation had held talks with Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings about acquiring an interest in Van Diemen's Land Company (VDL) farms.

The Tasmanian farms represent about two-thirds of the council's Perpetual Investment Fund and this has long created concern that there are too many eggs in one basket.

If Timl did sell the farms, Judd did not know where the money would be invested.

"That's Timl's brief. That's why Timl was established - they are mandated to investigate where they go," said Judd.


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