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Vote Creates Huge Challenge


Media Statement

Monday 18 June 2001

Vote Creates Huge Challenge

Today’s overwhelming shareholder majority for the dairy merger places a huge responsibility on the new company to perform, John Roadley, Chairman of Global Dairy Company, said today.

“By 85 and 83 percent respectively, shareholders of Dairy Group and Kiwi have placed their confidence in us,” Mr Roadley said.

“It is now ‘head down’ for us as we go about meeting their expectation that this company comes out on top, on any international benchmark that is put in place.

“We put our competitors on notice: we’re now a fully integrated company ready to lift our game with better customer service and much-improved responsiveness.”

Mr Roadley said Global Dairy Company was proud to be a 100 percent New Zealand-owned company.

“This vote ensures that the New Zealand dairy industry will remain in New Zealand hands,” he said.

“Today’s vote will also introduce a new level of competition for the domestic market, with the sale of the 50 percent shareholding in New Zealand Dairy Foods, the deregulation of the export market and the Government’s tough Regulatory Package that assures fair local competition.”

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Mr Roadley said the next few months would see more tough decisions for the new company to be formally in business by October.

“Mergers are never easy and we have some tough calls to bring the three entities together,” he said. “We need to appoint a CEO, establish a new company culture and carefully integrate our assets step-by-step.”

In the meantime, it was “business as usual” for the industry’s 18,000 employees. “This industry cannot be successful without their hard work in over 120 markets every day. Change is always difficult for employees but they all understand why this merger had to happen and that our strategy is to grow this business.”

Mr Roadley said he understood legislation would be introduced this week to give effect to the merger and deregulate the industry. He thanked both the Government and the Opposition for their constructive approach over the last six months.

END

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