Fonterra has agreed to sell its minority stake in Lithuanian dairy business Rokiškio Sūris as part of its “strategic long-term review of investments”.

In 2017, the New Zealand dairy cooperative paid NZ$11.7m (then $8.5m) for a 10% stake in Rokiškio Sūris.

Fonterra will sell its 3.59 million shares in the Lithuanian dairy company for €2.2 ($2.34) per share, totalling around €7.9m. Rokiškio Sūris plans to buy back the shares through the Vilnius Stock Exchange, with the buyback scheduled for next month.

The two groups will continue to cooperate “in the processing of milk and in trade of products will continue on mutually acceptable and beneficial terms”, according to a statement from Rokiškio Sūris.

The Lithuanian company makes cheese, butter, whey protein and milk powders, and is headquartered in the city of Panevėžys. Its factories include two in neighbouring Baltic country Latvia.

In 2021, Fonterra set out a 2030 strategy course, which included plans to divest country-specific assets.

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On Friday (19 April), the New Zealand-based company appointed Anna Palairet as permanent chief operating officer, after she held the position since last June.

CEO Miles Hurrell said: “Anna has extensive experience in operational, customer, sustainability and sales roles. She spent more than a decade in senior leadership roles at Air New Zealand before joining Fonterra in October 2022 as director of global supply chain and she is the current chair of global logistics provider Kotahi GP Limited.

“I thank Anna for her leadership to date and look forward to her ongoing contribution to the Fonterra management team.”

In February, Fonterra announced plans to merge its New Zealand and Australia business units, forming Fonterra Oceania on 1 May.

The integration is expected to “strengthen our trans-Tasman offering in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace”, Miles Hurrell, Fonterra’s CEO, said in a filing.