Nine Van Leeuwen Group farms offered for sale

Nine Van Leeuwen Group farms are up for sale, close to three years after cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis was discovered on more than a dozen properties owned by the South Canterbury-based company.

Sixteen properties belonging to the group had restricted place notices imposed on them by the Ministry for Primary Industries in July 2017 after the outbreak of the bacterial cattle disease, in an effort to control the movement of stock.

At the time two dozen cows on one of the group’s farms tested positive for the disease, the first identified in New Zealand.

Being marketed by Colliers International, a description of the portfolio on its website described "an exceptional opportunity to acquire nine highly productive pasture and support farms", which included 3509ha of freehold land, extensive infrastructure, irrigation shares and a supply contract to Oceania Dairy.

On the website, owners Aad and Wilma Van Leeuwen said after years of investment in the properties, it was time to sell up.

"We have grown our business substantially over the years, and are now looking to pass this legacy on to the next generation.

"Along with a capital re-structure, we recently finalised a new vision for the business which is primarily focused on optimising and growing our robotic barn farming operations.

"Our aim is to be a market leader in farming systems that are sustainable with new environmental regulations, ensuring the business is well positioned to capitalise on future dairy profitability due to growing scarcity of supply."

The group would continue to focus on its existing robotic barn farming operations, as well as invest in future growth.

The portfolio comprised six pastoral dairy farms and three dairy support blocks .

All of the farms had been cleared of M. bovis for more than a year and a-half.

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