Fonterra spreads $525m fund to beat disclosure rules

No single investor owns more than 5% of units in the $525 million Fonterra investment fund – which means investors do not have to be publicly disclosed.

Under the Securities Markets Act and Financial Markets Authority rules, any holding over 5% has to be disclosed.

Fonterra chief financial officer Jonathan Mason told NBR ONLINE he does not believe any single unit-holder has more than 5%.

"That would have to be disclosed."

Fonterra revealed yesterday it has set its unit price at $5.50, at the top of the range in its prospectus.

Mr Mason would not confirm whether China's sovereign wealth fund, the $US400 billion China Investment Corp, had invested.

"We really don't want to confirm specifics," he says.

In terms of releasing information about which companies had invested, Mr Mason says: "We won't unless we have to."

Given trading of the units is scheduled to begin on the NZX and ASX on Friday, large unit-holders may have the opportunity to increase their holding and some may breach the 5% threshold.

Fonterra's policy is for no single investor to hold a total of more than 15% of units.

While Mr Mason would not give a breakdown of its $525 million fund last night, the Australian Financial Review disclosed institutions were allocated about $300 million of stock, $125 million went to the broker firm offer and $75 million to so-called friends of Fonterra.

Being closer to trading of units and "getting permanent capital" was a big step forward, Mr Mason says.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz


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