Overseas investment

Bell Gully is New Zealand’s leading law firm for advice on overseas investment.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our team has oversea​s investment expertise across a broad range of sectors, including agriculture, commercial property, energy, forestry, retail, tourism and the wine industry.

We provide a fully integrated service for international investors in New Zealand, and can advise at every stage of a proposed investment. ​Our experts can assist in obtaining consent under the Overseas Investment Act, investment structures, equity and debt financing, employment, tax, Treaty of Waitangi considerations, resource management issues and immigration requirements.

We act for a wide range of international clients seeking to invest in, or expand, their presence in New Zealand. We also regularly advise private clients, who wish to acquire real estate in New Zealand, on applications for New Zealand permanent residency.

Our leading team is recognised in the market as having expertise to shape the regulatory framework.

Partner Andrew Petersen was a representative on the Technical Reference Group advising the New Zealand Government on the review of the Overseas Investment Act. He also presented a series of nationwide seminars on the Act with the Overseas Investment Office and co-authored the comprehensive New Zealand Law Society guide for practitioners on the Act.​​​​

The Big Picture: Overseas Investment ​

​​​​​​​​A second wave of reform to overseas investment rules is set to usher in a new age for overseas investment, rounding out the most significant overhaul of the Overseas Investment Act in 15 years. 

While the government signalled this further reform in late 2018, a Cabinet paper released in the closing weeks of 2019 set out in detail what investors can expect from the regime over the next decade.​​

In ​January ​2020, we published ​a full report analysing these reforms. See our full report below, or download here​​.​​​

GIC Real Estate’s joint venture with Goodman Property Trust
Acted for Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Real Estate, on its investment into the rapidly developing Viaduct Quarter, which required a “significant business assets” consent from the Overseas Investment Office. This was the first real estate investment by GIC into New Zealand, and involved a complex acquisition from an existing joint venture party and new joint venture arrangements with NZX listed Goodman Property Trust.

Danone’s acquisition of Sutton Group and Gardians
Acted for Danone on its acquisition of New Zealand milk formula processing and packing factories from Sutton Group and Gardians, which required a “sensitive land” consent from the Overseas Investment Office.

Vodafone’s acquisition of TelstraClear
Advised Vodafone on its NZ$840 million acquisition of rival telecommunications provider TelstraClear from Telstra Corporation, which required a “significant business assets” consent from the Overseas Investment Office.

Far East Orchard’s joint venture with Toga Group
Advised Singapore-listed Far East Orchard on the New Zealand legal aspects of a joint venture arrangement with Australia’s Toga Group, which required a “sensitive land” consent from the Overseas Investment Office. The joint venture related to hotel and apartment management and ownership.

Ling Hai Group’s purchase of Castlebrae Vineyard
Acted for the Ling Hai Group on the purchase of Marlborough’s Castlebrae Vineyard, which required a “sensitive land” consent from the Overseas Investment Office.

BayWa’s takeover of Turners & Growers
Advised BayWa on all aspects of its takeover of Turners & Growers, including obtaining a "sensitive land" consent from the Overseas Investment Office. The consent was the first obtained applying the “counterfactual test” established by the High Court in the Crafar Farms case.

Blackstone Group’s acquisition of Burger King
​Advised Blackstone on the acquisition by its private equity funds of the Burger King business in New Zealand, which required a “significant business assets” consent from the Overseas Investment Office. 

Cerebos Pacific’s takeover of Comvita
Advised SGX listed Cerebos Pacific on its takeover offer for NZX listed honey and natural products manufacturer Comvita​. We assisted Cerebos in obtaining a “sensitive land” consent from the Overseas Investment Office.

Asahi Group’s takeover of Charlie’s
Advised Asahi Group on all aspects of its public takeover of Charlie’s Group, which required a “significant business assets” consent from the Overseas Investment Office.

Foley Family Wines investments into New Zealand
Acted for Foley Family Wines (a US investor) on its acquisitions of the New Zealand Wine Fund, Te Kairanga Vineyard and Winery and the Wharekauhau Lodge, all of which required “sensitive land” consents from the Overseas Investment Office.​

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  • Andrew Petersen

    Partner Auckland
  • Anna Buchly

    Partner Auckland
  • Amon Nunns

    Partner Wellington
  • Glenn Shewan

    Partner Auckland