9 Dec 2010

May Wang to appeal against bankruptcy

6:52 pm on 9 December 2010

The woman leading the overseas bid to buy Crafar farms says she will appeal against bankrupcy.

The High Court in Auckland on Wednesday made the decision to bankrupt May Wang because of her failed property business the Dynasty Group, which collapsed in 2008, owing creditors $22.2 million.

Ms Wang has been fronting the bid by Hong-Kong based Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings to buy the Crafar family farms which are in receivership.

Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings says it expects to file an announcement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday and until then cannot make any comment, other than that it is studying the issues involved and talking to its lawyers.

The Overseas Investment Office says any decision on the company's application will be made by Government ministers Kate Wilkinson and Maurice Williamson.

It says they must consider whether the people exercising control over Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings are of good character and have business experience and acumen.

Conditional sale agreement remains in place

The receivers for the Crafar farms say the conditional agreement for the sale of the 16 North Island farms remains in place, despite Ms Wang being declared bankrupt.

Brendon Gibson, of Korda Mentha, says the agreement depends on getting approval from the Overseas Investment Office, which is still investigating the application.

The sale agreement is with a May Wang company, UBNZ Funds Management, which is seeking to buy the farms on behalf of Natural Dairy (NZ) Limited.