22 Nov 2012

Shareholder fund applications close

6:43 am on 22 November 2012

Applications have closed for farmers and investors wanting to participate in Fonterra's new shareholders fund. The outcome will be announced on Friday.

The fund, the most controversial part of the co-operative's Trading Among Farmers plan, will provide the first opportunity for outsiders to invest in the profits of New Zealand's biggest company.

They can do that by buying units giving them the rights to the dividends of shares that farmers deposit in the fund.

Farmers will be paid the cash value of the shares in return for giving up the dividends.

Sharemilkers and retired farmers, as well as employees will also be able to invest in the units as friends of Fonterra.

Fonterra was aiming for a minimum fund size of $500 million and has said it would make up any shortfall itself in the short term, if it did not get enough from farmer shareholders.

There were indications of a high level of interest from potential investors before applications closed on Wednesday.