Waikato Farmers Welcome Dairy Plan

NEW ZEALAND - Dairy farmer owners of milk co-operative Fonterra in the Waikato have welcomed the board's plan to list on the stock exchange in 2010.
calendar icon 16 November 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
DAIRY PLANS: Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden informs Waikato farmers, via a live teleconference, of plans for a new capital structure

Around 500 Waikato farmers were let in on the dairy industry's best kept secret yesterday, at a meeting at Mystery Creek Events Centre digitally linked to meetings in six other locations across the country.

If 75 per cent, or more, of the co-operative's 11,000 farmer-shareholders give their approval in two votes over the next two years, Fonterra will change its name to Fonterra Farmers Co-operative and form a new company which would inherit the old one's assets and liabilities.

The majority of shares - 65 per cent - would be held by the co-operative and a further 15 per cent by individual farmers. Twenty per cent of the shares would be offered to the public, raising between $2 billion and $2.5 billion.

Fonterra said the listing would be a full one, not partial, since the whole company would be listed, not just one aspect of it.

Te Awamutu farmer John Neill liked the proposal.

"They have put a huge amount of thought into it and I'm very comfortable with what they proposing. It answers the issue of growth strategy and we are not going to lose our shareholder control," Mr Neill said. He was keen to see the small print before the first vote in May.

Source: stuff.co.nz

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