WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The New Zealand farmers who jointly own dairy giant Fonterra voted to allow outsiders to invest in the company for the first time.
The 10,500 farmers who own the company voted Monday in favour of starting a fund worth about $400 million which would allow investors to buy non-voting shares.
The investors will get dividends but no ownership stake.
About two-thirds of farmers who voted favoured the move.
Fonterra describes the move as a way to better secure its finances and says it remains committed to its farmers retaining 100 per cent control and ownership of the company.
Fonterra's revenue in the last financial year was about $15.6 billion. The company is the world's largest exporter of dairy products, accounting for about 30 per cent of the global dairy export trade.