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International trade & investmentInternational trade & investment

Specialist and practical advice for international trade and investment matters

Our experts know what it takes to operate successfully in international markets, and to trade with New Zealand. 

We provide an integrated service for international clients investing in New Zealand. From evaluating opportunities, to business acquisition, navigating resource management and Māori law issues, our team ensures you have the right expertise available at each stage of the process.

We regularly act on overseas investment matters as part of large corporate transactions.

We have the largest presence of any law firm in Wellington, the capital city and Government centre of New Zealand. We have an excellent working relationship with the Overseas Investment Office – the New Zealand Government authority responsible for dealing with overseas investment applications.

Our team has very good knowledge of relevant Government policy and the procedures for obtaining overseas investment consent. We have been involved in the drafting of relevant regulations and one of our partners was a member of the Government-appointed group which reviewed New Zealand’s overseas investment rules.

We work with New Zealand clients doing business in Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands – from business setup, to joint ventures, and restructuring of state-owned assets.

We advise on all aspects of international trade and investment, including free trade agreements. Our team is familiar with the impact of international trade treaties and regimes, and related legislation, and we liaise with New Zealand’s Government agencies regarding international trade, international treaty obligations and related legislative proposals.

We have advised

  • China-based Pengxin International Group (Pengxin) on its high profile, ground-breaking Overseas Investment Office (OIO) application for approval to buy 16 dairy farms, known as the Crafar farms, from receiver KordaMentha.  Despite community controversy, the application was approved twice by the OIO, and those decisions upheld in the Court of Appeal
  • Shanghai Pengxin in forming and negotiating an incorporated joint venture vehicle with Juliet Maclean and John Penno (SFL Holdings) and acted for SFL Holdings in its NZ$87.5m full takeover offer for Synlait Farms
  • Shanghai CRED Real Estate, one of Shanghai’s largest property development companies, on its purchase of the Peppers Carrington Resort and Karikari Winery Estate, including advising on Overseas Investment Office (OIO) consent
  • Transpacific Industries on the NZ$950m sale of its New Zealand business to a wholly owned subsidiary of the Beijing Capital Group
  • a Japanese consortium (Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed packaging company Oji Holdings Corp, and INCJ – a Japanese corporate investor, sponsored by the Japanese government and private enterprise) on its 100% acquisition of Carter Holt Harvey’s pulp and paper and packaging businesses for NZ$1.037b
  • an individual against the Indonesian Government, successfully acting for our client in the first bilateral investment treaty arbitration hearing ever held in New Zealand, in overcoming an attempt by the Republic of Indonesia to terminate a compensation claim brought by the individual, before an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration tribunal
  • multinational Atlas Copco Group on its purchase of the business of Lancaster Group, including Ash Air
  • Sino-Forest Corporation on its acquisition of the Mangakahia Forest Estate, including due diligence, sale agreement negotiation and OIO clearance, and the subsequent sale of that interest to a partly owned subsidiary, Greenheart Group (a Hong Kong Securities Exchange listed company), which required a separate OIO approval
  • Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation as manager and administrator of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund on the sale of its portfolio of 11 forestry blocks in New Zealand’s North Island to China National Forest Products Trading Corporation 
  • PGG Wrightson in respect of the NZ$144m partial takeover offer by a subsidiary of Agria Corporation
  • Hyundai Hysco and Hyundai Rotem of Korea on their investments in the petroleum exploration and rail industries
  • Agility Logistics Group on its acquisition of the Australian, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea logistics companies LEP International, Pan Orient and Kurada from Mainfreight. The acquisition contract was negotiated and prepared in New Zealand under New Zealand law and required Chapman Tripp to co-ordinate multi-jurisdictional acquisition and funding arrangements
  • ExxonMobil on its Great South Basin petroleum exploration activities
  • the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga on the sale of a 40% stake of Westpac Bank of Tonga to Westpac
  • Rubicon on the sale of its Horizon 2 tree improvement business to the US-based ArborGen LLC, (a joint venture between it, International Paper and MeadWestvaco)
  • the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga in relation to the sale of the Kingdom’s electricity business. The project included advising on the establishment of a new regulatory regime and the passage of necessary legislation

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