Fonterra to merge key units

Last updated 16:31 29/11/2012

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On the eve of its unit trust fund IPO, dairy giant Fonterra says it is to merge its under-performing Australian-New Zealand business with its Asia/Middle East/African unit.

The move will see the departure of ANZ unit managing director John Doumani.

The new single business unit - to be known as APMEA - will be led by Asia/Middle East/Africa division managing director Mark Wilson. The appointment takes effect on January 1.

Fonterra said after six years of working in Melbourne away from his Sydney-based family, Doumani was taking the opportunity to pursue other opportunities.

He will help with the transition and leave at the end of March next year.

Chief executive Theo Spierings said the move was part of the co-operative's strategy to increase its consumer businesses.

"Our businesses across Asia Pacific represent around 40 per cent of our earnings and are vital to the co-operative.

"There are big growth opportunities in the emerging markets of Asia and the Middle East, and some challenges to address in our home markets of Australia and New Zealand and our strategy requires us to address both."

Units in Fonterra's new shareholder fund will list on the NZX and ASX tomorrow. The final price was $5.50, widely expected to rise after listing.

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- Waikato Times

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