Crafar farms valuation nightmare | The Jackal

29 Jun 2012

Crafar farms valuation nightmare

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin has been accused of making a "Claytons" offer to return historical pa sites to a King Country iwi after knocking back its offer to buy the farms where the sites are located.

Interests associated with King Country iwi Ngati Rereahu and central North Island iwi Tuwharetoa said yesterday that Shanghai Pengxin was seeking the "ridiculous" sum of $66.5 million for three properties out of the 16 former Crafar farms the Chinese company bought this year for a total believed to be just over $200 million.

The iwi interests believe the three farms, which include areas of cultural significance, are worth about $45 million.

You would think this gives even more grounds for a high court appeal against National's decision to sell the sixteen Crafar farms to Milk New Zealand Holding Limited aka Shanghai Pengxin Group.

There is of course a loss of over $20 million of Fonterra milk payouts per year to the Central North Island economy to consider, and the difference between the offer and what the three farms are actually worth appears to be significant.

The Shanghai Pengxin application was granted because it was meant to be beneficial to New Zealand. This is clearly not the case, but not because the price is inconsistent with what the Hong Kong incorporated company is believed to have purchased all the farms for (approximately $210 million) on a purely land area calculation.

The sixteen dairy farms consist of an area the size of Hamilton, comprising of around 7892 Hectares. The two Bennydale farms are 1687 Hectares and the Taharua Road, Rangitaiki farm on the Napier Taupo Highway is 1751 hectares. So that's 3438 Hectares or 43.5% of the total land area Shanghai Pengxin purchased for $210 million.

You wouldn't expect variables such as non-productive land and additional things like facilities and cattle to be significantly different between the sixteen farms, so the actual price equivalent to what Shanghai Pengxin is believed to have paid for the three farms in question is $91.35 million, well above the amount offered.

This all makes a mockery of what Pita Sharples claimed when he said two of those farms could be gifted back by Shanghai Pengxin... What a plonker! No business is going to buy farms in New Zealand, maybe even using Chinese government money, just to give them back to Maori. FFS! What planet is this guy living on?

It's also inconsistent for Landcorp to use the higher of two valuations, and then add 15% as a premium to that valuation. This calculation is meant to be for uncontested land, rather than contested and on-market sales, which was apparently what the Crafar Farms deal was meant to be.

Why they didn't initially split the farms up into more affordable lots is beyond me.