Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, PSP Investments, got a green light to buy a medium-sized dairy farm and a neighbouring dairy support block in Canterbury for $17.7 million just ahead of tougher requirements on land sales to foreign buyers.
Source: Farmers Weekly
Ramsay Dairy Farm, indirectly owned by PSP Investments, was given Oversease Investment Office consent to buy blocks of 335.2ha and 77.2ha at Hororata.
According to the OIO, the properties will be merged to create a larger dairy farm.
“The applicant proposes to convert some of the dairy support land to create a larger milking platform and to support increasing the total number of cows by approximately 400 cows,” it said in a summary of the decision.
The move got in ahead of tougher requirements for foreign buyers to provide more benefits to the New Zealand economy and also slashed the size of farms covered by OIO applications to any land purchase over 5ha, other than forestry.
In late November Associate Finance Minister David Parker said the then existing directive to the OIO was too loose, applying only to very large farms more than 10 times the average farm size.
He said sales restrictions generally applied to sheep and beef farms over 7146ha or dairy farms bigger than 1987ha.
The “new directive tightens how we assess overseas investment in NZ to ensure authorised purchases provide genuine benefits,” he said at the time.
The new rules applied from December 15. The PSP Investment approval was granted on November 30.
The OIO said the pension fund met the test of generating a benefit to NZ with the creation of jobs, an increased volume of milk being processed domestically, higher export receipts and capital investment to convert dairy support land to dairying.
The government agency also noted PSP Investments has previously made beneficial investments in NZ, creating jobs and introducing extra investment for development.