24 Oct 2018

Seeka enters into $15.9m sale deal for five kiwifruit orchards

3:17 pm on 24 October 2018

New Zealand's largest kiwifruit producer, Seeka, has agreed to sell five Northland kiwifruit orchards for nearly $16 million.

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Photo: RNZ/ Nick Monro

Seeka said the agreements include the purchasers entering into long-term supply contracts for each of the orchards, which Seeka will manage on their behalf.

It told the New Zealand Stock Exchange the total sale value of $15.9 million exceeds the purchase price plus holding costs for the orchards.

Seeka said the sale agreements were conditional on the purchasers completing due diligence within 20 days.

It said it remains in negotiation for the sale of other orchards in its Northland portfolio and these would be announced as and when completed.

Meanwhile, investigations are continuing as to how some of Seeka's kiwifruit vines in Australia became infected with the vine-killing disease PSA.

Earlier this month, agricultural authorities in the State of Victoria confirmed an aggressive form of the disease had been found in a 4.5ha developmental zone of gold kiwifruit vines at an orchard owned by Seeka.

Chief plant health officer at Agriculture Victoria, Rosa Crnov, told the ABC while the detection of the disease is a serious matter, it was important for consumers to understand there was no threat to food safety.

"It is perfectly, 100 percent safe to keep buying kiwifruit," Dr Crnov said.

She believed eradication of the disease was still possible.

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