CBH Group shareholder Theo Marshall says he stands to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, unless

24 Apr, 2007 08:45 PM

He is now enjoying a new lease of life in the city but remains deeply concerned about the future of farming, and in particular with losing entitlement to the CBH assets that he and his forefathers helped generate during a lifetime of farming.

³I delivered thousands of tonnes of grain to CBH each year when I was farming and I have been told by a reliable advisor that my contribution could be worth as much as several hundred thousand dollars,² Mr Marshall said.

³But it is not the money I am primarily interested in, or the details of how the equity can be distributed, it is the principle of the matter of how farmers can capitalise on assets that are rightfully theirs.

³I see this as a kind of corporate theft ‹ maybe even co-operative theft ‹ and the sooner CBH addresses this issue the better.

³They need to establish, in a fair and proper manner, what that equity is and how they can distribute it to shareholders, or if they don¹t do that, to at least let them know they can have that equity some time in the near future.

³It will happen one day and what is important is that these assets are realised by the farmers who have primarily contributed to them and not some other person or organisation that may not be as well-deserving.²

Mr Marshall said he was concerned farming numbers were falling sharply while CBH¹s $1.2 billion asset base was headed in the opposite direction.

He said he was not pushing for corporatisation, but was urging the CBH board to consider the issue and develop an alternative method of giving farmers access to the massive equity they helped grow during the past 74 years.

³I have no axes to grind because I am a very happily retired farmer,² Mr Marshall said.

³I just want to see that the inequity in the equity issue is properly addressed.

³Sooner or later someone is going to want to realise on those assets.

³The fact that farming numbers are declining at a rapid rate while CBH¹s asset value shoots up will only bring this issue to a head.

³CBH got those assets from farmers and their forefathers who delivered grain and helped build the company for many years.

³Those growers are entitled to that equity but the real questions are what should they get, how will they get it, and when will it happen.²


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