Nine farms being sold by Solid Energy

One of the country's largest farm offerings is on the market in Southland, the more than 2000ha made up of nine farms held by state-owned enterprise Solid Energy.

Solid Energy had purchased masses of Southland land covering millions of tonnes of lignite, but in 2012 came close to collapse under debt and accumulated losses, before being bailed out by the Government in a refinancing package with its banks. PGG Wrightson real estate general manager Peter Newbold said the properties were likely to be well received by the market as in recent months demand for dairy land had exceeded supply.

He did not believe the nine-farm offer would flood the market, noting farm listings had been tight in recent times.

''Investors are motivated to take advantage of the international market for milk powder, which is driving up the forecast dairy payout. For the same reasons, dairy farm owners are reluctant to sell,'' Mr Newbold said. The farms were all within a 5km radius between the Mataura and Gore townships, and located close to Fonterra's Edendale processing plant.

The farms were on ''favourable soils'' and, if developed further by new owners, productivity could be increased. The farms, either individually or as a whole, were for sale by tender, closing on April 3.

Solid Energy
Its nine Southland properties are. -
• Three dairy farms milking 2015 cows; targeting 785,000kg of milk solids this season.
• Two dairy conversion properties, totalling 550ha.
• Four dairy support properties totalling 580ha.
• The nine farms range in size from 33ha to 399ha, and total 2031ha.



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