Silver Fern Farms and Shanghai Maling have a few more nervous days to wait before they learn whether their joint venture proposal can go ahead.

The Overseas Investment Office has sent its recommendation on the $261 million deal to the relevant government ministers for a decision.

Land Information Minister Louise Upston and Associate Finance Minister Paula Bennett received the documentation from the OIO last week and were now considering the application.

The ministers were aware of the September 30 deadline Shanghai Maling and SFF had set for the deal and had that in mind, a spokesman for the ministers said.


SFF chief executive Dean Hamilton said in a brief statement: ''We continue to be confident that the OIO decision will be favourable and announced prior to 30 September.''

SFF was forced to hold two meetings, both of which got overwhelming shareholder support, to approve the deal under which Shanghai Maling will take a half stake in New Zealand's largest meat processor.

The strong support from shareholders came at a special meeting in August requisitioned by John Shrimpton, Blair Gallagher and a group which included 31 other shareholders who supported a statement stating they wanted to stop the investment into Silver Fern Farms.

The August meeting attracted 80.4% shareholder support, following on from the October 2015 vote at which 82% of votes were cast in favour of the deal.

The deal is likely to leave SFF debt free and have access to the premium Chinese market through Shanghai Maling's extensive network.

SFF chairman Rob Hewett had warned previously the meat processor was at the mercy of its banking syndicate.

It was hoped the deal would be settled by January 4 next year, if it is approved by the ministers.