20 Oct 2009

Fonterra considers vote on capital restructuring

4:03 pm on 20 October 2009

Fonterra is considering whether to put the first stages of its new capital restructuring proposal to a farmer vote at its annual meeting in Ashburton next month.

It would need 75% backing for its plans to allow farmers to buy 20% more shares than what they need to match their milk supply, the aim being to build the funds to grow the company.

Fonterra would also seek approval to adjust the way in which shares are valued to reflect the fact that share ownership is restricted to farmer suppliers.

But it would not be for a vote at this stage on another part of the plan, the part allowing shares to be traded among shareholders.

With the first round of farmer consultation meetings completed, a Federated Farmers dairy representative and Fonterra shareholder, John Bluett, says he believes the cooperative will get the support it needs for the plans.

Another Federated Farmers representative, dairy chair and Fonterra shareholder Lachlan McKenzie, says farmers are starting to think through some of the future repercussions that the changes may bring.