AUSTRALIAN dairy company TasFoods, which believed it had made a successful bid for Van Dieman's Land Company, (VDL) has sought an interim Supreme Court of Victoria injunction, blocking the sale to another bidder.
Late last week, it was announced a new buyer had been found for VDL - Australia’s biggest dairy - in North-West Tasmania.
TasFoods had entered into what was believed to be a $250 million sales and purchase agreement to buy VDL with owner Taranaki Invesment Management Limited (TIML), which in turn, owns Tasmanian Land Company (TLC).
Both TLC and VDL are ultimately owned by the New Plymouth District Council, New Zealand.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) TasFoods said it had obtained an interim Supreme Court injunction to restrain VDL parent, TLC from “taking steps to terminate the sale agreement, or sell the VDL assets, until this Wednesday, when the matter is scheduled for a further hearing.”
TasFoods said it had been told last week the condition of sale agreement it had entered with TLC, “will not have been fulfilled” and the sale agreement had been terminated.
TasFoods directors were told VDL’s assets had been sold to an undisclosed foreign buyer.
“They understand that the purchase price, offered by the bidder was less than the value of the consideration agreed to be paid by the company, which, taking into account the share component and current market price of TasFoods’ shares, was in excess of $280 million,” the statement said.
“The directors consider it an extraordinary decision by the councillors of the New Plymouth District Council to have approved the sale of VDL assets to a foreign investor for less consideration, particularly when that sale is subject to the approval of the Foreign Investment Board.”
TasFoods was also taking legal advice as to its other remedies and rights of redress, against TLC.