Friday, November 30, 2012

What's Mooving: Dairy Comes Public, Pops 22%

So much for high-tech.
But it's not just any dairy either. It's Fonterra, the largest dairy in the country-with-the-lowest-rate of lactose intolerance in all of Polynesia, Australasia, Asia whatever you call that half of the world.
One troubling note: The stock is reported by otherwise trustworty sources to have been up 21.1%, 22%, 24.5% and 25%. We'll go with the low end.
From International Financing Review:

Fonterra completes unusual milk float
Fonterra, a New Zealand dairy farmers’ co-operative, has completed a NZ$525m (US$432m) IPO, the largest in Australasia this year, using a non-voting structure that is unique in the region – if not the world.
The unusual structure suited Fonterra’s desire to remain a co-operative under the ownership of its members, while creating a permanent capital base and allowing shareholders to trade the shares among themselves – a scheme called Trading Among Farmers.

The company, the world’s largest dairy processor and exporter, collects and sells milk from farmers who are also its shareholders. Since farmers can sell the shares back to the company for cash when they leave the dairy business, the company’s capital base has fluctuated.

The Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund raised NZ$525m after a NZ$25m increase in the deal on strong demand. The fund will enable domestic investment firm Craigs Investment Partners to make a market in farmers’ Fonterra shares. Buying shares in the fund gives investors exposure to dividends and capital gains from Fonterra shares, but no voting rights.

“We knew there were some structural challenges, buying units that don’t carry a vote, but the only people who were concerned were at the margins,” said a banker at one of the bookrunners.

No comps
There were no obvious comparable stocks. Fonterra is a vertically integrated dairy producer and processor, combining elements of Nestle and Ireland’s Glanbia. There is no known listed security with the same structure....MORE
The Lactose Intolerance rate for New Zealand is  6%, approaching the incidence in Denmark or Sweden and compares with 90% rates in some Asian countries.

The offering valued Fonterra at NZ10 Billion ($8.2 bil).

As for the headline, Deal Journal Australia went with "Fonterra Units Moo-ve Sharply Higher on Debut" so I don't feel so bad.