Is Bonlac a Good DealThursday, Nov 30, 2000
Bonlac's Annual Meeting yesterday shows the strong dissatisfaction of Bonlac's shareholders with the
position they are in. Low milk prices, substantial debt, a turbulent market and doubt about the answers
given by company directors.
Murray Goulburn has pointedly said it is not in the business of saving failed processors and is currently
avoiding any suggestion it would consider bailing out Bonlac, a local market operator, when
the export market is performing strongly.
New Zealand Dairy Industry shareholders must question the sensibility of the NZ Dairy Board move to
purchase a joint venture relationship in what appears to be an expensive Australian food distribution
company who hold the rights to some doubtful brands.
The detail of the benefits of this proposal has not been released by the NZDB who make a final decision
on proceeding with the joint venture in the next two weeks.
NZ dairy farmers cannot be white knights to a small group in the Aussie dairy industry without some
certainty of a benefit. Buying into a struggling company with a growing debt of half a billion dollars,
a doubtful hold on its brands and under pressure in a restructuring local market would not seem
to be part of the NZ industry vision.
Does the board have some inside knowledge that is not available to any other player?