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Dairy Board Share Value Arbitration

The Tatua and Westland Co-operative Dairy Companies and Fonterra Co-operative Group have accepted the determination of the arbitration panel on the price to be paid by Fonterra to Tatua and Westland for their shares in the New Zealand Dairy Board following the restructuring of the New Zealand Dairy Industry in 2001. The final price will be $3.73 a share.

An interim settlement had been struck in December 2001, following a valuation by Macquarie NZ Ltd, at $3.51 a share.

This follows the decision of the Arbitrators Rt Hon J F Henry, QC, W.M. Wilson QC, and A N Frankham in the arbitration proceedings conducted under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act.

Chairman of the Westland Co-operative, Ian Robb, said that arriving at a valuation for an asset as complex as the NZDB is ultimately a judgement call. "But we accept this decision."

Chairman of the Tatua Co-operative, Dr Alan Frampton, said the decision allows each of the three key dairy companies to know where they stand, so that they now can concentrate on the future.

Chairman of Fonterra, Henry van der Heyden, said that he was pleased with the outcome, most particularly because it represents the final stage in the restructuring of the industry and allows the industry to move on. He said the decision would not have any effect on Fonterra's payout for this season.

The three parties will not be making any further comment on this matter.

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