Australian dairy firm Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory (WCB) has hinted that the shape of its planned cheese venture with National Foods could be changed.

The two sides first struck a deal on the venture last August after National Foods secured the A$910m (US$681.9m) takeover of Dairy Farmers.

However, the fate of the 50:50 venture remains unclear after WCB pulled a rights issue drawn up to fund its stake in the business last month. The firm’s managing director has also left the business following a U-turn on the prices it pays its milk suppliers.

Earlier this week, WCB appointed a new chairman, Frank Davis, and said discussions with National Foods over the venture were “continuing”.

Speaking to just-food this morning (14 May), a WCB spokesperson confirmed the talks were ongoing but acknowledged that changes to the structure of the venture was a “possibility”.

The spokesperson, however, refused to be drawn on whether WCB would accept a smaller stake in the cheese business. She said only that the two sides would discuss “various options”.