Soho Property acquires Queenstown’s Coronet Peak Station

Comments Off | 07-30-2011

The New Zealand Herald Friday reported that Soho Property has acquired Queenstown’s Coronet Peak Station, adding a fourth property to its vast 55,406 ha South Island high country holding. Soho Property owned by Music producer Robert “Mutt” Lange already controls 33,195ha of Crown pastoral leases at Glencoe Station, Mt Soho Station and Motatapu Station.

However, now the Overseas Investment Office has given approval for him to take the Crown pastoral lease purchase on the 22,211ha Coronet Peak Station. Lange is a Zambian-born British record producer and songwriter, said the Herald.

Lange made international headlines when he bought Motatapu and Mt Soho high country stations, between Arrowtown and Wanaka, six years ago for $21.4 million. Two years ago, Lange bought Glencoe Station for a secret amount, reported the Herald.

The Coronet Peak Station lease was sold by Malta-based Irishman Eamon Cleary, who also owns several Queenstown and Arrowtown commercial buildings, but the amount paid to him is being kept a secret.

However, according to Herald, the acquisition immediately came under criticism from Murray Horton of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa. The Overseas Investment Office said the station’s sale to Lange would benefit New Zealand, said the Herald.

In its approval, the OIO said Coronet Peak Station is steep and mountainous and, despite its large size, has little low country with even moderate pastoral value. According to OIO, the station is also seriously degraded, has a serious feral goat problem, and has significant problems in relation to wilding trees and other unwanted plant species.

The applicant intends to continue to use Coronet Peak Station primarily for general farming. Merino sheep will be farmed on areas identified as having sustainable farming value and those areas will be developed in line with the applicant’s practices on its existing farming operations. The applicant expects to be able to carry 4000 sheep, noted OIO.

Acquiring Coronet Peak Station presents a unique opportunity to minimize the risk of reinfestation by plant and animal pests through the acquisition of the significant natural boundary offered by the Shotover River, argued OIO.

The applicant also wishes to capitalize on eco- and adventure tourism opportunities which go hand in hand with the extensive conservation work already undertaken by the applicant on its existing farming operations at Glencoe, Mt Soho and Motatapu Stations, the OIO approval noted.

Approvals have been granted for foreigners to buy New Zealand assets valued at $3 billion in the first seven months of this year, up on the $962 million approved at this time last year.

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Posted in Foreign Direct Investment/FDI New Zealand, General |

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