The Special General Meetings (SGMs) that will decide the fate of Glanbia Co-op’s proposed takeover of Glanbia plc’s Irish business will be held at Kildalton College on May 10th and 24th.
But as things stand, there is no guarantee that the 75 per cent of votes which the Co-op requires from members and suppliers (twice over) for the deal to be sanctioned will be secured.
IFA Dairy Chairman and Kilmacthomas farmer Kevin Kiersey, while agreeing with the proposal in principle, believes reducing the co-op’s plc shareholding is an unwise move.
“I was disappointed when I saw that the co-op’s (proposed) shareholding had fallen to 10 per cent of the plc,” he said. “I felt it would at least have been held above 20 per cent.”
Should the proposal be carried, the Co-op’s plc shareholding would be initially reduced from 54.6 per cent to 20 per cent before a further reduction to 10 per cent.
Those supporting the proposal believe the drop to 10 per cent would prove popular among dairy farmers who believe the plc has focused on its international ventures at the expense of its Irish business.
In a bid to bolster support for the proposed takeover, well-known Kilmeaden farmer and Co-op Board member John Fitzgerald has voiced his trenchant support for the deal.
“As a Board that is unanimously supporting the acquisition, we are convinced that this proposal offers a unique opportunity for farmer shareholders to capitalise on growth and investment opportunities,” he said.
“At the current time of major change in agriculture policy, the Board believes that co-operative control of this major asset is more compatible with the business and long-term interests of farmers.
“An intensive information campaign is currently underway to ensure that co-op shareholders are fully aware of the details and benefits of the offer.”
Mr Fitzgerald said the offer put co-op members firmly in ‘charge of their own destiny’.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.