Murray Goulburn dairy farmer owners back plans for AU$500m IPO

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Murray Goulburn dairy farmer owners back plans for AU$500m IPO

Related tags: Murray goulburn, Stock market

Murray Goulburn shareholders have voted in favour of listing the dairy cooperative on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

At an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on May 8, 92.3% of the 129,560,822 Murray Goulburn shareholder votes cast were in favour of adopting the new capital structure, which is designed to raise AU$500m.

Murray Goulburn, Australia' largest dairy cooperative, will now move forward with a series of offers to "eligible suppliers and external investors,"​ including an initial public offering (IPO) of a Unit Trust on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Despite the ASX listing, Murray Goulburn's 2,500 dairy farmer owners will retain 100% voting control.

It aims to list the Unit Trust on the ASX in July.

Philip Tracy, chairman, Murray Goulburn, said the EGM vote takes it "a critical step closer"​ to hitting its AU$500m target.

"The strength of today's 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 of dairy foods."

"They see the opportunity that Asia presents and support MG's growth and value creation strategy."

"Support growth and value"

In a presentation to shareholders at the EGM, Murray Goulburn said between AU$550m and AU$635m is required to "support growth and value creation strategy through investments in world class manufacturing capacity, market reach and operational efficiencies, to better serve customers and consumers in Australia and Asia."

Of the capital raised, it plans to invest between AU$125m and AU$145m in consumer cheese, and between AU$165m and AU$190m in dairy beverages.

Between AU$260m and AU$300m could also be ploughed into nutritional powders by the Australian dairy.

"Global demand for dairy foods continues to grow, particularly in Asia,"​ said Gary Helou, managing director, Murray Goulburn. "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."

"We will invest the new capital we ultimately raise, in world's leading manufacturing capability and market reach, to ensure we are 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."

Priority offers

The majority of the AU$500m target will be raised through the IPO.

A smaller amount will be raised through a Supplier Share Offer, a Supplier Priority Offer, a Friends of Murray Goulburn Unit Offer and an Employee Gift Offer.  

The Supplier Share Offer will allow new and existing supplier the opportunity to acquire shares up to a limit at a discount rate of between AU$1.00 and AU$1.24. 

Under the Supplier Priority Offer, eligible Murray Goulburn farmer owners may purchase shares - up to a maximum ownership of 1.6m shares - at the IPO price. Units will also be available to Friends of Murray Goulburn, including current employees, current and former suppliers, and local residents, at the IPO price.

It also intends to offer AU$1,000 worth of shares to eligible Murray Goulburn employees. 

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