Tuesday, 06 March 2018 10:55

Head in the sand?

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Fonterra is still claiming “confidence” in Beingmate. Fonterra is still claiming “confidence” in Beingmate.

Despite news that Fonterra’s partnership with Chinese company Beingmate appears to be going from bad to worse, the co-op is still claiming “confidence” in the investment.

Beingmate last week reported a preliminary net loss of RMB964 million (NZ$211 million) down 23% on last year’s result. The company also confirmed it was delisting from the Chinese stock exchange.

Fonterra bought an 18.8% share in Beingmate in 2014 for $756m. Four years later the value of that investment has shrunk to about $220m.

Chairman John Wilson admits, in the latest issue of Fonterra’s Farm Source magazine, the co-op “remains very concerned” about Beingmate’s performance. However, despite the plague of issues with the Chinese company, he tells farmer shareholders they need “to be patient and play the long game”.

Wilson claims that despite Beingmate’s recent performance “the potential of our broader partnership remains”.

Wilson also says Fonterra’s management – including chief executive Theo Spierings – are “working through a strategic co-operation committee with Beingmate founder Sam Xie and are confident the situation can be turned around in the medium term”.

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