While there are at least six potential suitors seeking to purchase about 18,000
acres of Amfac land from Hanama’ulu to Wai’ale’ale for an asking price of $26
million, there is no deal – for now – for Grove Farm.
On Saturday night, a
confidentiality agreement expired, as did negotiations between Grove Farm Co.
Inc. and a would-be buyer the company won’t name, confirmed Hugh W. Klebahn,
Grove Farm chairman.
Speaking via telephone from his Puhi office yesterday
afternoon, Kiebahn wouldn’t rule out the possibility Grove Farm will entertain
other offers for its sale.
“We will explore that,” he said.
owns around 22,000 acres from Kawaikini in the island’s interior to Puhi and
Maha’ulepu, including the Maha’ulepu coastline near Hyatt Regency Kaua’i Resort
and Spa and Po’ipu Bay Resort Golf Course. Grove Farm also owns Puakea Golf
Course and Kukui Grove Center.
The company is, plainly, land-rich and
“Grove Farm’s financial condition, I think, is a matter of
record. Like most companies in Hawai’i, we have suffered through many things,”
Kiebahn said. “And being on Kaua’i, we’ve suffered even further, given the
hurricane and various other things. We have been very slow to recover, and our
debt burden is exceedingly high.”
There are residential and commercial land
developments of Grove Farm, though most of the acreage is leased to
There was an offer on the table to purchase all of
the company’s shares from 160 current shareholders, most of whom are members of
the company’s founding Wilcox family.
“We regret that we were not able to
conclude an agreement,” Kiebahn said. “We are currently evaluating our
He would not disclose the estimated value of the company’s
holdings, nor the number of shares the shareholders own.
Like the Amfac
acreage’s 13 different parcels being sold as one, Grove Farm’s holdings fall
into many different tax-map-keys.
Of the Grove Farm holdings, between 30
and 40 appeals of real property tax assessments were recently settled with
Kaua’i County, said Eugene Jimenez, deputy director of the county Department of
Realtor Bob German, of Aloha Island Properties, confirmed
yesterday that at least six parties – some individuals, some groups – have
expressed interest in purchasing what in essence is all of Amfac’s Kaua’i land
As the negotiations are in their infancy, German was not able to
tell whether the same company that tried to buy Grove Farm had also shown an
interest in the Amfac acreage.
Business editor Paul C. Curtis can be
reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) and [