Australian retailer Foodland Associated has said it is selling its New Zealand department store chain Farmers to a consortium comprising Fisher & Paykel Appliances and James Pascoe Ltd.

The two companies are paying Australian retailer Foodland Associated a total of NZ$311m (US$186.5m), reported Dow Jones.

Foodland said it was considering various possibilities for how it would spend the proceeds from the sale.

Foodland "will review a range of potential applications of the funds including organic growth, acquisitions, and capital management initiatives," the company was quoted by Dow Jones as saying.

Foodland managing director Trevor Coates said the sale would allow the company to focus on its core food businesses, particularly its supermarket and wholesale distribution operations.