Friday, April 12, 2024

Home Farm sale edges closer

Neal Wallace
Part of former Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre near Masterton has found a buyer, liquidator says.
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Liquidators say an unnamed party is close to purchasing Home Farm, part of the former Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre near Masterton, which was placed in liquidation in 2018.

In its latest report, Grant Thornton says if the deal is completed, it will satisfy the government’s requirement that Home Farm continue to be a centre for the delivery of education.

“While discussions have been positive and we have been informed they have approval to sign the agreement, we continue to wait to receive the signed agreement,” the liquidator’s report says.

“The party has continued to undertake further due diligence on the property and has expressed an expectation to complete a sale.

“Once the signed sale and purchase agreement has been received, we will present this to the Minister of Agriculture for his approval of the sale.”

The liquidator continues to operate Taratahi’s Home Dairy Farm in Wairarapa and the dairy, sheep and beef farms at Telford in South Otago as going concerns.

“This strategy will be continued until the ownership of the Home Campus and dairy farm have been resolved in order to maximise returns to creditors.”

Since 2019 the liquidators have had a formal agreement with the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to provide education from the Telford Campus. 

“We continue to work with SIT to make the Telford Farm available to assist in the education of its students.”

They have had discussions with the Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry for Primary Industries on the future of the Telford farms.

“It is our intention that following the settlement of any sale at the Home Campus we would look to transition our operation of the Telford Farms to

an agreed party.”

Taratahi was placed in liquidation in late 2018 when it was determined there were 1194 unsecured creditor claims totalling $15.9 million.

The liquidators say that to date it has received 248 unsecured creditors’ claims totalling $15.2m.

All employee preferential entitlements have been paid but the Inland Revenue Department is still owed pre-liquidation payroll taxes, which have preferential status.

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