The multibillion-dollar Harvard University endowment fund has
received Overseas Investment Office (OIO) permission to
continue expanding its dairy farm holdings in the Maniototo
in Central Otago, already among the largest in the country.
The OIO decision yesterday granted consent for Dairy Farms
Partnership, owned by Harvard University in the US, to buy
1382ha of freehold land on Puketoi Runs Rd, in the Maniototo.
Before this purchase, Harvard's total assets in the district
were valued at more than $60 million.
The full-year report of Harvard subsidiary DF1 Ltd, filed
with the Companies Office on Christmas Eve, said DF1 had,
subject to OIO approval, acquired the farm assets of Dogterom
O'Callaghan Ltd for $2.5 million, including $1 million for
stock and $1.23 million in Fonterra shares.
Despite booking a more than 50% decline in profit, Harvard is
continuing to acquire land. Its herd of 6641 cows, as at June
last year, is valued at almost $13 million.
The Puketoi Runs Rd property joins the farms Helenslea,
Alnwick, Tercio and Saran in the district.
In its decision, the OIO said Harvard planned to upgrade the
property to operate as a dairy and dairy support farm, which
would create jobs in the area.
The former controversial Big Sky Farm development was bought
out of receivership by the Harvard University endowment fund
in late 2010 for $32 million.
As at June last year, the fund's total asset value had risen
11% to $60.4 million from $54.3 million the previous year.
During the previous financial year, DF1 acquired a 20%
interest in the Maniototo East Side Irrigation Co Ltd, plus
board representation through a related party. The financial
report showed DF1's operating revenue declined 3.4% from
$11.3 million the previous year to $10.98 million for the
year to June. It appears rising farm expenses and
administration costs contributed to a 55% decline in
after-tax profit, from $4.33 million the previous year to
DF1 Ltd was incorporated in the Cayman Islands and registered
in New Zealand as a branch of an overseas company. The
''group'' financial results reported represent DF1 and its
99%-owned subsidiary Dairy Farms Partnership.