11 Mar 2009

Capital restructuring at Fonterra not inevitable

8:23 am on 11 March 2009

Fonterra's new chief financial officer says a capital restructure of the group is not inevitable.

Jonathan Mason took up the position last month, replacing Guy Cowan. He has held similar positions at Carter Holt Harvey and a chemicals company in the United States, Cabot Corporation.

Last year, Fonterra cancelled a vote by farmer shareholders on a preferred option on capital restructuring - which was to create a new company to own the assets of the group, with a view to listing on the sharemarket.

However, it's continuing to consult stakeholders about the options.

Mr Mason says a capital restructure is not a foregone conclusion.

Fonterra recently sought $300 million in a bond issue, but was swamped by investor demand and ended up raising $800 million, which was primarily used to repay debt.

It's now looking to further reduce its debt levels.