Glanbia Co-Op Society shareholders have voted in favour of management proposals to change the structure of the society.
At a special meeting in Gowarn Park yesterday (Wednesday, November 28), 81% of the 4,664 people who attended voted yes for the proposals.
The vote effectively means that Glanbia Co-op could sell 10 per cent of its stake in Glanbia Plc, or cash in €225m worth of shares. Some of the money raised could then be used to provide equity and help build a new milk processing plant in south Kilkenny.
Most of it would be used to deliver nearly €160m in a share spin-out to farmers and others, with €15,000 going to the average milk supplier, but much more to larger shareholders.
Glanbia Management expressed delight with the outcome.
Commenting, Chairman, Liam Herlihy said: “Today’s Proposal is the first step in the process of giving value back to the Society members who have created the Glanbia organisation. On behalf of the Society Board I welcome the result as a solid endorsement of the Board’s Proposal. The commitment of farmers who turned out yet again to vote in such huge numbers is commendable.
“Securing the support of 81.8% of members attending and voting on the day is a tremendous achievement, but to be effective it requires another 75% approval at a confirmatory vote on December 12. I am now calling on all members to re-double their efforts to attend and vote, so that the benefits of the share spin-out and sale can be realised.
“A yes vote on December 12 will give our newly established JV, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (“GII”), a strong start; it will put cash into the Society which will give it the flexibility to provide a wide range of options for members, and it will distribute c€157million of plc shares to members. In addition, based on the current share price, the Society’s shareholding in the plc will be worth close to €1billion,” Mr Herlihy added.