Dairy

Dwyer plays it straight

by
November 02, 2017

Farmer-director Craig Dwyer painted a blunt picture in an address to last Friday’s annual general meeting of Murray Goulburn.

‘‘Some may see it as far from ideal, but make no mistake, at no point when I first took this job on, did I ever expect to be in the position to be selling MG,’’ the Cobden farmer told the meeting.

‘‘I signed up to fix it, not sell it, however, reality has prevailed and forced our hand.

‘‘I know it was a huge blow to suppliers to hear about the ASX announcement this morning about the agreement to sell MG. I understand this isn’t where we wanted to be but it is where we are.

‘‘As a consequence, we as a board have looked at every possible option, from standalone through to equity partnership through to a full share sale,’’ Mr Dwyer said.

‘‘Believe me when I say, that no stone has been left unturned by the board and management in exhausting all avenues before arriving at this agreement.

‘‘This included tough conversations with Federal Government in which I was involved, having personally met with the Deputy Prime Minister along with Ari (Mervis) in Canberra two weeks ago.

‘‘The outcomes of that conversation were that it is not an industry problem but an MG one, so it was suggested that we needed to find a commercial resolution.

‘‘I asked the Deputy Prime Minister directly whether he wanted MG to stay in the current industry.

‘‘The option of short-term loans for MG to buy itself some time to trade out of the situation was flagged but it was clearly understood firstly that it would be challenging to secure government agreement, and secondly, any loans would still have to be repaid in full at a point in the future,’’ Mr Dwyer said.

‘‘I believe there is no point in looking in the rear-view mirror; at this point we need to maximise stakeholder value and farmer security for the future.’’

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