Local rivals keen to bid for Murray Goulburn

By Dairy News

Troubled dairy processor Murray Goulburn has confirmed it has had approaches from a number of suitors interested in either buying some assets or taking over the whole co-operative.

"These proposals have ranged from the sale of certain assets to whole-of-company transactions," Murray Goulburn has said in a statement.

Fonterra has confirmed in an interview with ABC Radio that it has put forward a proposal.

"It’s non-binding and indicative and at this point we are going to sit tight and give the MG board the respect they deserve to consider all proposals," Fonterra Australia MD Rene Dedoncker said last month.

"When they [the Murray Goulburn board] are ready to talk we will be there and at some point when the boards are aligned there may be news."

Murray Goulburn said it and financial adviser Deutsche Bank are "engaging with a number of parties to assess their proposals".

But the company said it was too early to comment on valuation or implementation, and there is no certainty that any transaction would eventuate.

Media reports that an was made for the units in the co- operative’s listed investment vehicle, the MG Unit Trust, for $1.20 per unit were false, according to the co-op.

Parties that have been reported to be interested in Murray Goulburn’s assets include Fonterra, Parmalat, Saputo, Goodman Fielder, Bega, Lion and A2 Milk.

Murray Goulburn said in August that it had received unsolicited indicative proposals for all or part of its business and that it would start "corralling" that interest so that it can consider it in a structured fashion compared to the ad hoc nature in which it had come through.

In August, Murray Goulburn reported a $370.8 million loss for the year to June 30 amid plummeting milk supplies.

It is currently reviewing its operations, corporate structure and capital structure in a bid to restore strength.