Thursday, 12 April 2018 11:19

Different company, no problems – Fonterra

Written by 
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings. Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings.

Fonterra is disputing claims made in the April 10 issue of Dairy News that its plans to turn around the co-op’s disastrous investment in Chinese baby food company Beingmate will be hampered by the return of the company’s founder.

In the article headed: ‘Chinese whispers in Beingmate boardroom’ Dairy News reported that Beingmate founder and cornerstone shareholder Sam Xie had decided, last month, to take over as chief executive of the company and his return – after a seven-year hiatus – is triggering a power struggle and rocking the board.

The article pointed out the relationship between Xie and Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings remains frayed, hindering the two stakeholders in their efforts to plan amicably to salvage the company.

However, a Fonterra spokesman says Xie is not the chief executive of Beingmate Baby and Food so the observations about the impact this will have on Fonterra are completely without basis.

He says, in fact, that Xie has come back as chief executive of the parent company Beingmate and not Being Baby and Food – which is “an entirely separate company”.

“As such, the comments about Sam being back at the helm – and Fonterra struggling to have influence, or turn around the business as a result – are simply incorrect,” Fonterra claims. 

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