23 May 2012

Tighter controls mooted on new investment fund

12:40 pm on 23 May 2012

Fonterra will tighten controls on the size of a proposed $500 million investment fund following pressure from sceptical farmers.

The company wants to let farmers trade their shares amongst themselves in a private market, while also setting up a fund to tap outside investment, to help bolster its financial position.

Under the plan, the investment fund will be about 8% of Fonterra's equity and could rise as high as 25%, which some farmers fear means they will lose control.

Before a vote on the Trading Among Farmers proposal is held late next month, chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden says farmers will be asked to vote on reducing the size of the fund.

Federated Farmers has welcomed the move.