8 Jul 2014

Council set to sell Aussie dairy farms

1:50 pm on 8 July 2014

New Plymouth District Council is set to sell off its controversial multi-million-dollar investment in 25 dairy farms in Tasmania.

Mayor Andrew Judd said he would visit the Van Diemen's Land Company assets this week as part of that process.

The 25 farms are part of the council's Perpetual Investment Fund which was formed when it sold 45 percent of its Powerco shares in 2004 for $365m.

Last year, the Tasmanian properties had a book value of $152m, which is a large proportion of the investment fund's $203m.

Mr Judd said the fund was out of balance and because of that it had performed poorly against the wider sharemarket.

"Farms have lots of attributes and tend to grow in value over time as land appreciates, and the value depends, too, on (milk) payout," he said.

"So while that's a good investment, in some respects, it doesn't pay us a cash dividend payout."