OPINION: News that a group of Fonterra farmers want an independent review of the Fonterra shareholders council may well be the beginning of the end of its ‘lapdog’ reputation.
Beingmate Baby & Child Food Company announced last week that the board has given a green light to sell its fully owned subsidiary Hangzhou Beingmate Dou Dou Children Nutrition Food Co.
An earlier attempt to sell the company was blocked by the board in January because Beingmate B&C was planning to sell it to founder Sam Xie’s associated company.
This time B&C says it will not be sold to related parties.
Fonterra opposed the sale because the Dou Dou company owns a manufacturing plant located on valuable land within a China national heritage zone. The value of this land is expected to soar when its heritage status is approved by the UN.
Fonterra believes Beingmate is selling the land for less than its true value.
The co-op will this week announce its half-year results, expected to contain an update on its $750m investment in Beingmate and another writedown of the value of its 18.8% shareholding.
Fonterra paid $750 million for its stake in Beingmate; the Chinese company’s shares have recently been changing hands at about RMB 5.56, versus the RMB 18 Fonterra paid for them.