Embattled dairy farmer Allan Crafar was last night refusing to confirm whether or not he had been able to raise the more than $200 million needed to buy back the farms he once owned from the receivers.
With bids by Chinese-backed company UBNZ and state-owned Landcorp still looking like the most realistic contenders for the 16 Waikato farms, receivers Michael Stiassny and Brendon Gibson from KordaMentha said yesterday there had been significant interest and they expected a number of further tenders would be placed before tenders closed at 4pm.
The normally effusive Mr Crafar, who claims he had been "deported to the South Island" but is understood to be in Christchurch for a wedding, had earlier told the Herald he was confident of raising the money. "Maybe I should ask Mr [Allan] Hubbard for some money ? He's got plenty."
Chinese-backed company UBNZ is rumoured to have offered about $230 million for the farms
Landcorp says its offer was at market value, but that it was a clean deal which may find favour with the receivers because it was not subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.
Landcorp CEO Chris Kelly told the Herald its bid was made jointly with Wairakei Pastoral - the investment group involving businessmen Trevor Farmer, Mark Wyborn and Ross Green.