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No Second Chance For Merger

The Government is unlikely to be prepared to work with the dairy industry on a new merger proposal should the current proposal fail, John Roadley, Chairman of Global Dairy Company, told farmers at the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek today.

“The Government’s view is that it has invested a huge amount of time and energy into this merger,” he said. “It won’t do it again.”

Mr Roadley said it was vitally important that no shareholder voted rejected the proposal on some point of detail “expecting a more comfortable cab to come up to the rank anytime soon”. He said it simply wasn’t going to happen.

“We’ve been debating this issue, and working with two governments, for several years. The Government and the Opposition have both worked constructively with us over the last six months, and both say they will back the necessary legislation to make the merger happen.

“But let’s not kid ourselves. If we don’t get over the line this time, we’re unlikely to ever have another chance in quite the same way.”

Mr Roadley also confirmed that polling showed the vast majority of the nation’s 14,000 dairy farmers are in favour of the merger. He said the data also showed the industry was above the necessary 75 percent threshold “but possibly only just”.

“Every vote counts. Each shareholder could potentially be the one to tip the vote one way or the other.” It was important for every shareholder to vote to establish a strong mandate for the new company.

Mr Roadley said he wasn’t keen to pick what would happen should the vote fall short of the necessary 75 percent threshold.

“We would be in an extremely difficult position: the vast majority of farmers supporting the merger, but a couple of votes short of making it happen.”

This would create the risk that people outside the dairy industry could become involved in determining its future, he said.

Shareholders intending to vote by proxy must ensure their proxy forms arrive at their companies by tomorrow morning.


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