Murray Goulburn has agreed to a settlement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) over an alleged breach of its disclosure obligations in the lead-up to a dramatic price cut paid to its farm suppliers in April 2016.
The company has agreed to pay a $650,000 fine and admit to one contravention of continuous disclosure provisions of the Corporations Act.
The settlement requires Federal Court approval.
Chairman of Murray Goulburn, John Spark, released a statement saying:
"We consider that this settlement is in the best interests of Murray Goulburn as we continue to focus on our objective of supporting our farmer suppliers, including through the proposed Saputo sale process announced on 27 October 2017."
The processor clarified the statement, saying:
"The penalty is to be paid for by Murray Goulburn. The amount of penalty is subject to court approval. As stated in MG's 27 October announcement, if the Saputo transaction is completed, MG will retain part of the transaction proceeds to ensure MG is able to manage appropriately any potential exposure under the ASIC and ACCC regulatory actions and class action. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, would assist to clarify Murray Goulburn's exposure in relation to the ASIC investigation, which is only one aspect of the potential exposures."