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Silver Fern deal deadline extended

NZN 30/06/2016

The Chinese firm seeking to take a half stake in the country's largest meat processor has agreed a three-month extend the deadline for conditions to be met.

Shanghai Maling Aquarius is paying $261 million for 50 per cent of Silver Fern Farms.

The extension will give the Overseas Investment Office more time to assess the deal.

Under the conditions of the original deal, the transaction was slated to go unconditional by June 30, but Silver Fern and Shanghai Maling have agreed in principle to a revised date of September 30, Silver Fern said.

The Dunedin-based meat company also set a new date of August 12 for a special meeting for a second vote on the sale, which was requested by a group of dissident shareholders.

"We needed to allow more time to answer the further information requests from the OIO and to then provide sufficient time for the OIO and then Ministers to consider the application," Silver Fern chief executive Dean Hamilton said.

"The agreement to the new date reflects positively on the ongoing commitment of both parties to the transaction. We continue to believe that the investment will be approved given its substantial merits."

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