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Wednesday 25th August 2010, 22:09 Melbourne

Japanese firm buys NZ Cedenco

Japanese food distributor Imanaka has bought New Zealand fruit and vegetable processor Cedenco

Japanese firm buys NZ Cedenco

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New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved the sale of New Zealand’s troubled East Coast-based vegetable processor Cedenco Foods to Imanaka Ltd, a Japanese importer and exporter of food, housing and chemical products.

Imanaka – a major customer of Cedenco – needed approval to acquire the factory's 10.94ha of land in Gisborne and intends to continue running the business, the OIO said. It did not release the price paid.

Despite being one of New Zealand's biggest fruit and vegetable processors, Cedenco was put into receivership by ANZ National Bank last November, after it defaulted on NZ$46m owed to the bank and NZ$4.7m to unsecured creditors, the New Zealand Press Association said.

The company's Australian affiliates SK Foods Australia, Cedenco JV Australia and SS Farms Australia were also placed in receivership at the time, reportedly owing the New Zealand arm of the business NZ$11m.

The American arm of SK Foods became the subject of a major controversy after its former chief executive Frederick Scott Salyer, was arrested in the US in February on racketeering and corruption charges related to a scheme to quash competition for his tomato processing firm and sell SK Foods' tomato products at inflated prices.

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