Farm expected to fetch record price

A Mid Canterbury property that was formerly part owned by Allan and Jean Hubbard is expected to smash farm-price records when it goes to auction with no reserve next week.

Ealing Pastures is 1284 hectares, milking 3200 cows and producing 1,332,069kg of milksolids annually.

It has two rotary dairy sheds, one 70-bail and one 80-bail, and its own run-off block, making it almost self sufficient.

When asked for the expected price range Property Brokers' rural real estate agent Chris Murdoch, who is marketing the farm, said: "Who knows where the bidding will end? Ask on the March 14."

However, on April 30 last year, the Court of Appeal estimated the property to be worth approximately $60 million, with the stock and plant expected to add another $10 million to the price tag.

"To our knowledge there hasn't been a farm of this value sold in Mid Canterbury," Mr Murdoch said.

The property has generated a reasonable amount of interest, with several prospective buyers in the wings, including both vendors.

"There are several independent individuals looking at it - I suspect it will probably go this way rather than be purchased by a corporation," Mr Murdoch said.

"One person might buy it and a consortium will come in behind them."

Ealing Pastures was purchased in 2000 for $5 million, by a farm partnership that was 25 per cent owned by Allan and Jean Hubbard, 25 per cent by Andrew and Rachel Morris and 50 per cent by Pullington - an investment company owned by Western Australian couple Geoffrey and Frances Holman.

The three-way partnership was terminated by Mr Hubbard's death in 2011.

The farm is being sold by order of the High Court to dissolve the remaining partnership, and sell the land at public auction with no reserve. The buyer must also buy the stock and plant at market valuation.

It will be auctioned in the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, on March 14 at 2pm.

- By Michelle Nelson of the Ashburton Guardian

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