Fonterra said it had agreed on a strategic partnership with the NZX and the European Energy Exchange (EEX) that will see the exchanges each take stakes in the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction platform alongside the co-op.
Subject to approvals, the partnership is expected to be completed mid-2022, with Fonterra, NZX and EEX each holding an equal one-third stake in the global dairy auction platform.
Separately NZX said it would pay $12.5m for the stake, plus $3.2m as its share of planned additional growth investment into the platform.
Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell said the move to a broader ownership structure marked the next step in the evolution of GDT.
He said the move would further enhance the standing of GDT as an independent, neutral, and transparent price discovery platform.
"This is good news for our farmer owners, unit holders, and all dairy industry participants and is expected to lead to greater volumes being traded on GDT," he said in a statement.
"It will bring more participants and transactions, stimulating further growth of risk management contracts available on financial trading platforms," he said.
Hurrell said dairy is one of the most volatile traded commodities.
"This partnership is another step in helping to manage this risk for everyone – from the farmer through to the customer at the end of the supply chain."
NZX chief executive Mark Peterson said the price discovery that GDT provides the international dairy industry was crucial for dealing with volatility and its associated risks.
"We see the expansion of the physical trading environment as both further strengthening existing financial contracts and enabling the creation of new tools and opportunities for dairy processors and end-users to manage price volatility," he said.
EEX chief strategy officer Tobias Paulun said becoming a shareholder of Global Dairy Trade was in line with the EEX strategy.
"With our experience in operating Europe's leading trading platform for dairy futures, but also with multiple spot contracts in the energy space, we believe that we can be of value supporting GDT's growth vision," he said.
According to GDT's latest annual report, 626,747 tonnes of product, worth US$2.5 billion, was traded on the platform in 2021.