NEW Zealand dairy company Fonterra has emerged as a joint bidder for the Van Diemen's Land Company in Tasmania.
Reports are circulating the NZ dairy company will take a 51 per cent stake in VDL, with the remainder taken up by Chinese state-owned enterprise China Investment Corporation.
VDL, which dates back about 190 years, runs the biggest dairy farming operation in Australia.
It owns about 30,000 dairy cattle across 25 farms.
VDL is 98 per cent owned by a New Zealand council. Investment of a Chinese state-owned enterprise in the dairy operation may reignite debate over foreign ownership in the new federal Coalition Government.