Dairy group NZ Farming Systems Uruguay has appointed former Fonterra executive Alistair de Raadt as its new CEO.

NZFSU, which is facing a takeover from Singapore-based commodities group Olam International, said yesterday (9 September) de Raadt’s contract would initially run until the end of January but could be extended by mutual consent.

Agribusiness and food ingredients group Olam made its bid to take control of NZFSU in July.

Olam initially tabled a bid worth NZ$0.55 a share but upped its offer amid rival interest in NZSFU.

The NZFSU board announced last week that it would recommend the higher Olam offer, which is worth NZ$0.70 a share and values the business at NZ$171m (US$124.2m).

Olam needs at least 50.1% of NZFSU’s shares to secure control and has so far accumulated a stake of 40.3%.

NZFSU also announced yesterday that Olam would provide a “stand-by credit facility” once the Singapore group secured the 50.1% stake.

The facility could be used to allow NZFSU to continue its development plans.