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Fonterra to commence due diligence

February 2, 2005

Fonterra to commence due diligence on National Foods

Fonterra has confirmed that National Foods has agreed to provide it with certain non-public information.

Fonterra Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Ferrier said Fonterra would like greater clarity on the assumptions that underpin the National Foods Board's valuation before making any final decisions about its offer.

"As part of this process, we need a more detailed understanding of various aspects of National Foods' business," said Mr Ferrier.

"We are taking the necessary time to fully research and evaluate these matters so we can be comfortable that we are making decisions that create value for our shareholders.

"As we have said before, it makes good strategic sense for us to grow our Australian consumer foods business by entering the national chilled milk market and the yoghurts segment through National Foods, complementing our leading positions in cheese and spreads.

"However, I emphasise that we will do so only on a basis which we are convinced is in the best interest of our shareholders."

Shareholders with any questions in relation to the Fonterra offer can call our shareholder information line on 1800 333 360 (from Australia), 0800 776 646 (from New Zealand) or +612 9278 9259 (from all other countries) between 9am and 5pm Melbourne time.

ENDS

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