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Overseas investment

New Zealand welcomes foreign investment, but consent is required for business acquisitions that exceed certain monetary thresholds, and for the purchase of ‘sensitive’ land. Obtaining consent promptly and on satisfactory terms is one of Kensington Swan’s specialist skills.

Successful overseas investment requires insight into New Zealand’s regulatory requirements, but also sensitivity to, and the ability to manage, any political issues.

We have acted for a range of corporate and individual clients acquiring significant business assets and sensitive land, the latter involving forestry, dairying, and pastoral land including interests in South Island pastoral leases.

Recent experience

Offshore fund

We are currently working with an offshore fund (NZD100 million – 200 million) proposing to invest substantial funds in New Zealand’s primary sector. To address the complex tax and securities issues inherent in the structure, we devised a limited partnership structure to sit beneath an offshore fund structure. This project involves careful balancing of competing issues arising under the multi-jurisdictional securities and tax laws, while addressing the concerns of the Overseas Investment Act. We are structuring the investment vehicles to optimise participation and ease of investment, which are fundamental to the fund’s success.

Overseas forestry investor

We acted for a Northern Hemisphere forestry investor in the acquisition of a number of properties for plantation forestry. The properties had numerous issues of sensitivity, including public access, lakes and rivers, and conservation values. Consent was acquired for each purchase on terms that did not prejudice future commercial operations, so value was preserved.

Iconic rural property

We acted for the vendor of an iconic rural property being purchased by an overseas investor. We constructed the sale contract to address all of the vendor’s commercial interests and preserve value over the consent period. Overseas Investment Office consent was obtained while working collaboratively with the purchaser’s advisor.

Related legal services

Property and real estate law
Mergers and acquisitions

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Partner, Wellington

+64 4 498 0835

Senior Counsel, Head of China Business, Auckland

+64 9 918 6213

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