27 Oct 2012

Fonterra notes impact of shareholders fund

7:49 am on 27 October 2012

Fonterra says there will be a small impact on its earnings from supporting a fund that is intended to strengthen its financial position.

The nation's biggest company expects a shareholders fund to raise up to $525 million as some of its farmer-owners trade shares and outside investors buy units that pay dividends, which are forecast to be 32 cents each next year.

The indicative price for the units are between $4.60 to $5.50.

While farmers will provide the shares, Fonterra will make up any shortfall, which its chief financial officer, Jonathan Mason, says will have a tiny financial impact.

Fonterra released two sets of documents on Friday.

The first is an offer for farmer suppliers wanting to deposit up to 25% of the shares they hold matching milk supply, as well as other dry shares they hold.

The second offer, for access to the fund's dividend rights, will be open to outside investors as well as farmers and sharemilkers.

Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden says the offers mark an historic day because for the first time outside investors will be able to have exposure to the performance of New Zealand's largest company and the world's largest dairy exporter.

The offer opens on 5 November and closes on 21 November. The final price of units will be set on or about 27 November, after which trading will start.