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Zespri reports interest in Gold3 licenses

NZN 4/04/2017 Rebecca Howard

Zespri International reported strong interest in a bidding round for 400 hectares of new Gold3 or SunGold variety kiwifruit licences and said its shares will resume trading on Friday.

The kiwifruit marketer said it received 938 bids of which 235 were successful, and will reap $98 million of revenue from the allocation, excluding GST.

The average size of the successful bids was 1.7 hectares.

The SunGold variety has proven popular as it is more resistant to PSA, which decimated the industry some six years ago.

By the end of June 2012, more than 35 per cent of New Zealand kiwifruit orchards were infected. SunGold, first commercialised in 2010, was key to the sector's recovery.

The median price including GST was $270,250, and the minimum accepted price was $254,150.

Zespri said it will update its shareholders on the impact of the licence revenue when it provides a forecast profit range for the 2017-18 year after its April board meeting.

Last year Zespri announced it would sell licences for another 400 hectares of the SunGold variety this year, with a further 400ha to be released in 2018, 2019 and 2020 subject to the product's performance and global demand.

The company will now begin notifying growers of the outcomes of their individual bids.

Zespri shares, which trade on the Unlisted share trading platform, have been in a trading halt since March 22. That halt will be lifted on Friday at 9am. The stock last traded at $4.

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