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New Zealand dairy Company Fonterra considers selling its Sri Lanka business

May 17, Colombo (LNW):Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd has announced a step-change in its strategic direction, as it commits to deepening its position as a world-leading provider of high-value, innovative dairy ingredients.

As part of this, the Co-op has announced it is exploring full or partial divestment options for some or all of its global Consumer business, as well as its integrated businesses Fonterra Oceania and Fonterra Sri Lanka.

Chairman Peter McBride says this is a significant move for the Co-op which will set it up to grow long-term value for farmer shareholders and unit holders.

“We have conducted a strategic review which has reinforced the role of our core business. This is working alongside farmers to collect a sustainable supply of milk and efficiently manufacture products valued by customers, to deliver strong returns to farmer shareholders and unit holders,” says McBride.

CEO Miles Hurrell says the review has also given the Co-op confidence in the role it plays in the dairy nutrition value chain, with one of its greatest strengths being the production of world-class, innovative ingredients for customers to take to consumers.

“We believe we can grow further value for the Co-op by focusing on being a B2B dairy nutrition provider, working closely with customers through our high-performing Ingredients and Foodservice channels.

“This will be enabled by strong relationships with farmers, a flexible manufacturing and supply chain footprint, deeper partnerships with strategic ingredients customers, further investment in our Foodservice channel, continued delivery on our sustainability commitments and investment in innovation.

“In this context, we are exploring divestment options for our global Consumer business as well as our integrated businesses Fonterra Oceania and Fonterra Sri Lanka,” says Mr Hurrell.

Fonterra’s global Consumer business has grown over the years since Fonterra was formed and is performing well. It includes a portfolio of market leading brands such as Anchor, Mainland, Kāpiti, Anlene, Anmum, Fernleaf, Western Star, Perfect Italiano and others.

Fonterra Oceania is a fully integrated business, recently created through merging Fonterra Brands New Zealand and Fonterra Australia. It comprises Consumer, Foodservice and Ingredients businesses. Fonterra Sri Lanka comprises Consumer and Foodservice businesses.

Collectively, the businesses in scope for potential divestment utilised approximately 15% of the Co-op’s total milk solids and represented approximately 19% of Fonterra’s group operating earnings in the first half of FY24, with our Consumer businesses delivering strong underlying earnings.

“A divestment of these assets would help create a simpler, higher performing Co-op with our focus on our core Ingredients and Foodservice business and doing what we do best,” says Mr Hurrell. “As a next step, Fonterra will appoint advisors to assist with assessing divestment options.

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