This is a very quiet month – only 12 decisions, of which four have had most of their important details suppressed.
Stratos Global Corporation, owned 62% by Aliant Inc. of Canada and the remaining 38% in public listings in Canada, has approval to acquire BT Netley Ltd from Newgate (NZ) Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of British Telecommunications Plc (BT) of the U.K., for $56,000,000. The sale includes 1.2 hectares of land at 45 Unity Drive, Albany, Auckland.
The sale is part of a worldwide takeover by Stratos of BT’s Telecommunications Aeronautical and Maritime division. The land is
“the only Inmarsat land earth station in New Zealand providing satellite services for the Pacific Ocean region, and accordingly is an integral part of the Pacific aeronautical and maritime satellite coverage. The Commission is advised the acquisition represents the Applicant’s intention to expand its business on a global scale and will assist Stratos in establishing itself as a leading global provider of remote communications solutions.
[Stratos] is a niche specialist provider of mobile and fixed communications services and as such is well placed to operate and expand the Inmarsat satellite services offered by BT Netley that provide important communication support for shipping and aircraft in the New Zealand and wider Pacific region.”
In the July 1996 OIC decisions we reported:
In a decision initially almost completely suppressed and released on appeal only in February 1997, British Telecommunications Plc and its subsidiary, BT Netley Ltd have approval “to establish a telecommunications business in New Zealand, including but not limited to the construction and operation of a land earth station in New Zealand and the provision of related telecommunication services.” The value is still suppressed. In February 1996, a British Telecommunications Plc subsidiary, Newgate (NZ) Holdings Ltd, gained approval to acquire the 25% of Clear Communications Ltd previously owned by Bell Canada International Inc.
Tegel Foods Ltd, a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Company of the U.S.A., has approval to acquire 0.02 hectares of land at the corner of Barton Street and Richmond Road, Lepperton, New Plymouth for $1,800 from the New Plymouth District Council. Tegel has a poultry processing plant at Lepperton, which adjoins the land, and is the sole supplier of its factory at New Plymouth. The plant’s building will be extended onto the land, which “is likely to enable the plant to increase its capacity by 42%”.
The Portage Resort Hotel Ltd, owned 50% by D.H. Simpson of Aotearoa and 50% by A.J. Evans of Australia, has approval to acquire The Portage Hotel on 0.87 hectares of land at Kenepuru Sound, Marlborough for $2,286,250 from Mr G. Gains of Aotearoa.
“Though The Portage is an established destination in the Marlborough Sounds accommodation sector, it is in need of substantial refurbishment/upgrading and professional management. The overriding intention of the Applicant is to improve the hotel’s rating from 2 star to 4-5 star in order to re-position the hotel in the tourism market to attract international as well as increased domestic visitors”.
The emphasis will be on attracting international tourists.
· Blakely Pacific Ltd, as trustee for the South Blakely Trust, owned by the Eddy Family of the U.S.A., has approval to acquire two further blocks of land for forestry:
· 284 hectares of land at Kahoroa Road, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, for $657,500; and
· 806 hectares at Doons Flats Road, Milton, Otago for $911,250.
The last time we heard from Blakely was in the February 1998 OIC decisions when we reported that Blakely Pacific “had approval to acquire three hectares of land at 1729 Te Matai Road, Te Puke, Bay of Plenty for $160,000 as residential accommodation for its (yet to be appointed) on-site manager for the adjoining forests and its other forests in the area.” The last time Blakely applied for approval to buy land for its forestry holdings was in November 1997 when it bought 1,176 hectares of land at Milton, Otago. In September 1996 Blakely acquired 1,849 hectares in Otago for forestry. It has over 6,500 hectares in the North Island.
· The Liu and Shih Family Trust of Taiwan has approval to acquire 37 hectares of land at Ruakiwi Road, Ngaruawahia for $228,780 from the New Zealand Forestry Group Ltd which is owned 76% by Wesley Garratt of Aotearoa, and 24% by J. Hong of Taiwan. The Trust is a member of the Ruakiwi Forest group, which has “entered into an arrangement with New Zealand Forestry Group to develop approximately 245 hectares of land at Ngaruawahia Approximately 233 hectares of the land is afforested with the balance comprising forestry roads and unplantable areas due to contour”. The sale is like many in other regions organised by New Zealand Forestry Group, the last such sale being in October 2000, and its last at Ruakiwi in August 2000 when the J & J Family Trust of Taiwan gained approval to acquire 16 hectares at Ruakiwi Road for $96,720. The investors provide the money, while New Zealand Forestry Group manages the development of the forestry operation.
· Timothy Clive and Sheila Ann Holford of the U.K. have approval to acquire 107 hectares of freehold land at 336 Maratoto Road, RD4 Paeroa, Coromandel, and 66 hectares of leasehold land also at Maratoto Road. They are paying $1,518,750 for the land, which is being acquired from Stephens Estate and Jupiter Farms, both of Aotearoa. They believe “that the subject property will compliment their existing farm property in Somerset, England”, and claim that this dairy unit is underperforming , producing only two-thirds of its optimal milk capacity. They will introduce a fulltime sharemilker and finance improvements to the farm’s facilities, including a new herringbone milking shed. They intend “to develop the farm into a model dairy unit achieving the most efficient production possible”.
· Carter-Ashmore Vineyards Limited Partnership, which is 50% owned by Steve Allen and Suzanne Johnston Carter of the U.S.A. and 50% by Ivan and Margaret Sutherland of Aotearoa, has approval to acquire 13 hectares of land at Jacks Road, Renwick, Marlborough for $956,250. The land will be converted from orchard to an irrigated sauvignon blanc vineyard, which “is likely to increase the production capabilities of the adjoining Cloudy Bay Vineyard Ltd which is currently managed by one of the partners in the Applicant, Mr Ivan Sutherland”.