Chinese buyer Lu Xianfeng announces its recent U.S.$280 million acquisition of Australia’s largest and oldest dairy farm Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL) in northwest. The VDL was owned by various New Zealand entities. Late last year, its current owner New Plymouth District has agreed to sell the farm to Moon Lake Investments, owned by Lu Xianfeng. The farm produces about 100 million liters of milk per year…Full Article: Jan 2016

Key Point

  • The acquisition still must be approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In mid-November 2015, the Australian government vetoed the sale of S. Kidman and Co., a major cattle operator, on national security grounds. Around the same time, Moon Lake Investments (i.e. Lu Xianfeng, a Chinese businessman) made a successful bid on Van Diemen’s Land Company.
  • In early November 2015, the Melbourne-based Tasfoods Ltd reportedly reached an agreement on acquiring Van Diemen’s Land Company. Tasfoods later sue over its failed acquisition and subsequently received a settlement payout in January 2016.
  • In March 2015, Australia passed a law requiring Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval for the sale of agricultural land valued over AUD 15 million (~US$10.8 million).
  • Founded in 1825 and headquartered in Smithton, northwestern Tasmania, Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL) is a major dairy company that holds approximately 19,000 dairy cows. The company supplies Fonterra, a New Zealand-based dairy company and the world’s leading milk products exporter.

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