Fonterra in trading halt ahead of capital structure announcement

Fonterra cut its earnings forecast to 25 cents-30 cents a share and its dividend to 15c-20c in...
Fonterra is owned by 10,000 shareholders. Photo: ODT files
Fonterra share trading has been halted, pending an announcement tomorrow about its capital structure.

The dairy giant asked the NZX for its shares and units to go on a trading halt this morning and the request was approved.

The move would provide Fonterra shareholders and unit holders a full day to review and consider the materials before trading begins again.

The co-operative said it remained in a strong financial position and that the consultation process would not affect its ability to operate.

Chairman Peter McBride told The New Zealand Herald in March that fast-emerging challenges in the next 10 years made it essential for Fonterra to look at its capital structure now - despite some shareholders' views that no change was needed.

"I've heard the 'if it's not broken, don't fix it' [view]. So do we wait until it's broken? That's my response.

"As we start to share with them the challenges we see in the next decade I think sentiment will change."

McBride noted 62% of the 1800 farmer-shareholders who responded to a survey on the capital structure review had strongly or slightly supported change.

Fonterra is owned by 10,000 shareholders, who each received an individual version of the survey.

McBride's kept his cards close on what capital structure reform may look like.

Fonterra's NZX-traded units last traded at $4.60.

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