3 Jul 2009

Investment essential to retain control - Silver Fern boss

6:15 am on 3 July 2009

Shareholders in Silver Fern Farms have been told they have to invest in the company if they want to keep control of the business.

That was the message from chairman Eoin Garden at the first of a series of meetings called to outline the company's new capital restructuring proposal.

The meat co-operative is offering farmers new share-holding arrangements in a bid to raise up to $128 million.

It's looking for funds to reduce reliance on bank debt and provide capital for commercial initiatives, after PGG Wrightson withdrew from a plan to buy a 50% stake.

Silver Fern Farms will ask shareholders to vote at the end of the month on the capital restructuring plan and aproposal to reduce its board of directors from 12 to eight: five elected directors and three independents.