Fonterra Tries To Do New Friends In Chile
Fonterra Goes Head To Head With Chilean Dairy Producers Subsidiary
By Manuel Paredes - SANTIAGO, Chile.
A rift between an offshore Fonterra controlled enterprise and a Chilean diary producer's body is drawing to a head - the clash is hampering not only this company's progress but also any chance of a Chile/New Zealand free trade agreement.
An advertisement published in a Chilean business newspaper states on July 27 an extraordinary meeting of stockholders of South Milk Processor Society of the South, PROLESUR will be held. It is one of Soprole’s subsidiaries.
Soprole is a Fonterra subsidiary that is a major shareholder of the Chilean company.
A rift between the Fonterra controlled shareholding and those with Chilean interests became apparent on Friday 2 of July, when two directors from the Aninat Foundation were suspended. Aninat is the second majority stockholder. Its officers refused to sign an official document designed to reduce participation of minority stockholders in the Prolesur’s directory.
Fonterra plans to erode Chilean influence on the board by reducing the number of Prolesur directors from seven to five. The move is expected to be made at the July 27 meeting.
Minority stockholders are planning to resist Fonterra's plan, drawing in support of all other parties with Chilean interests.
Aninat Foundation has 43% of Soprole’s share and currently it is aiming to defend Chilean producers' rights. It claims Fonterra mounted a pressure campaign by ignoring or refusing to negotiate.
The power-rift is preventing the company from progressing.
It also has influenced south Chile's senators and deputies against moves to establish a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand - Fonterra's home nation. They consider that any agreement with NZ would damage Chile's small dairy producers' market.