A multibillion-dollar global investment fund of America’s Harvard University is poised to buy the Big Sky Dairy Farm in Central Otago for $28 million.
The offer is subject to Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval, and the OIO is still considering the proposal.
Big Sky has been in receivership, owing about $30 million, for more than 3 years. It’s since been locked in legal action.
The $28 million sale price has been confirmed by several industry sources.
If the OIO gives the sale the nod, Harvard will combine Big Sky’s annual output of 1.1 million kg of milk solids with another dairy farm it owns in the district to produce about 1.8 million kg a year by 2013.
Sources say Harvard’s endowment fund, which was valued last year at US$26 billion ($36.4 billion), will be notified in the near future by the OIO if it has gained approval.
In 2003, it won OIO approval for a $1 billion purchase of the 184,000ha Kaingaroa forest in the Central North Island.
It’s been described as the largest single man-made forestry block in the world.