Murray Goulburn shareholders give go-ahead to ASX listing
Shareholders in Australia’s largest dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn voted late last week in favour of listing the organisation on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Shareholders voted in favour of all items of business presented including the adoption of the new capital structure and related constitutional amendments, the consolidation and conversion of B and C Class Preference Shares to non-voting Ordinary Shares and the increase in the aggregate Director fee pool.
Murray Goulburn is Australia’s largest dairy foods company. In 2013/14 the company received approximately 3.4 billion litres or 37 per cent of Australia’s milk and generated sales revenue in excess of $2.9 billion. Murray Goulburn was formed in 1950 and remains 100 per cent dairy farmer controlled, with more than 2,500 farmer/shareholders and more than 2,400 employees. Murray Goulburn is also Australia’s largest dairy food exporter to the major markets of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Americas. It produces a range of ingredient and nutritional products, supplies the food service industries globally and its flagship Devondale brand is sold nationally.
ASX listing to raise $500 million for capital investments
Murray Goulburn Chairman Philip Tracy said the vote “takes Murray Goulburn a critical step closer” to achieving its goal of raising $500 million to fund capital investments to enable the delivery of “sustainably higher farmgate returns”
“The strength of the vote demonstrates that MG’s suppliers are not only overwhelmingly in favour of the new capital structure, but also see the growth that lies ahead for dairy foods,” Mr Tracy said. “They see the opportunity that Asia presents and support MG’s growth and value creation strategy,” he said.
“From the outset, the Board believed it was critically important to involve MG supplier shareholders in the capital structure development process and after 18 months of consultation and discussion, including 5 rounds of supplier meetings, what we saw today was a co-op in unison and alignment,” Mr Tracy said. “I am enormously proud of the process undertaken to develop the capital structure and I thank all supplier/shareholders for their involvement and commitment,” he said.
Mr Tracy said that with the EGM now over, the Company will move forward with the various offers eligible to suppliers and external investors, with the aim of completing the fundraising process and listing the MG Unit Trust on the ASX in July 2015.
Murray Goulburn aims for bigger share of Asian markets
Murray Goulburn’s Managing Director Gary Helou said the shareholder voted represented “a strong vote of confidence in MG’s growth and value creation to transform the business and improve farmgate returns”.
“The approval of the capital structure gives us the opportunity to raise $500 million in new capital which we will invest to further our strategic shift towards premium value-add dairy foods and in the process reduce MG’s exposure to the volatility of the dairy commodity price cycle,” Mr Helou said.
“Global demand for dairy foods continues to grow, particularly in Asia,” Mr Helou said. “All global dairy companies are racing to capture a share of these growth opportunities and in this context, MG does not have a moment to waste,” he said.
Mr Helou said Murray Goulburn would invest the new capital it ultimately raises, in manufacturing capability and market reach, to ensure the Company is well placed to “meet and serve the growing needs of dairy customers and consumers in Australia and internationally for premium, quality, Australian made dairy foods”.
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