The Co-op’s members have approved the proposed acquisition of Glanbia’s 40% interest in the dairy business for the purchase price of €307m (£262m).
Originally announced on November 10, the disposal was part of Glanbia’s continued focus on its nutrition business. The disposal signalled the group’s complete exit from the dairy business.
Completion of the proposed transaction remained subject to the approval by the independent shareholders of Glanbia, which would be sought at an extraordinary general meeting expected to occur in the first quarter of 2022. Completion of the transition was expected to complete in the first half of 2022.
‘The right time’
Speaking at the announcement of the proposals, Glanbia chairman Donard Gaynor said: “This is the right time for the proposed transaction.
“The Co-op is the right owner to continue the strategic development of Glanbia Ireland for the benefit of the Co-op’s members, and the PLC can continue to maximise the opportunities for its own business in the post-COVID environment, with our focus on health, wellbeing and nutrition.”
Glanbia Ireland (GI) – a joint venture owned 60% by Glanbia Co-op and 40% by the PLC – is reportedly the largest milk processor and grain buyer in Ireland, producing a range of value-added dairy ingredients and consumer products as well as selling farm inputs.
The dairy business operates 11 processing plants, 52 agri-retail branches and has over 2,000 employees. In the 2020 financial year the dairy business generated €1.9bn (£1.6bn) in revenue and a profit after tax of €60m (£50m).
GI and the Co-op will change their respective names following a transitional period post completion to names which do not include 'Glanbia'.
Meanwhile, frozen potato processor McCain Foods has acquired a minority stake in Irish plant-based food firm Strong Roots in a deal worth $55m (£41.5m).