Murray Goulburn Appoints Advisers to Start Fund for Share Sale

Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co., which is part of a three-way bidding contest for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co., appointed advisers to set up a fund to sell shares to equity investors for the first time.

“We are considering a funding model that maintains 100 percent farmer control, but allows external investors to invest” in Murray Goulburn, the Melbourne-based company said today in a statement on its website. It plans to implement the unit trust by July 1 and list it on the Australian stock exchange, subject to shareholder approval, the company said.

The proposed capital structure is similar to one implemented by New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., Murray Goulburn said. Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, raised NZ$525 million ($430 million) last year.

Murray Goulburn, Australia’s biggest milk processor, earlier this month raised its cash offer for Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese & Butter to A$9 a share, valuing the company at A$505 million ($464 million), only to have that bid matched three days later by Canada’s Saputo Inc.

The share sale proposal is separate from the bid, which is funded by its existing bank syndicate, the company said.

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