Incredibly, Macquarie’s investment bankers, Al Gore’s investment fund and KordaMentha are denying that a farming project – to which they lent $36 million – is a farming project at all.
The flustered financiers and their insolvency agents are yet to explain why they believe a farm, whose entire modus operandi centres on the growing of cucumbers and tomatoes, is not a farm. Nonetheless, they have given notice that they will be defending a legal claim, explicitly, with the contention that the farm in question is not really a farm at all.
The point is that when the bankers pulled the pin on Cor Disselkoen’s 14 hectare glasshouse farming project they did not offer Disselkoen “Farm Debt Mediation” as is required under the NSW Farm Debt Mediation Act. Now they face a claim that their administration is void.
As reported here yesterday, MacBank and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management (GIM), appointed KordaMentha as administrators to Maria’s Farm Veggies in June this year.
(Readers: please note the word “Farm” after the word “Maria’s”. Even the name of the asset – to which MacBank and GIM are creditors – contains the word “farm”).
The project is to rely on income from the farming of tomatoes and cucumbers to fund its borrowings. Further, the land on which the project is situated is zoned “rural” and the project’s prospective employees will be engaged in the picking of vegetables, an activity also widely described as “farming” – by everybody else in the world, that is, except Macquarie, GIM, KordaMentha and lawyers Baker & McKenzie.