Share spin-out call expectd at AGM
Pressure is mounting ahead of the Kerry Co-op AGM where dairy farmers hit by low milk prices and 'dry' shareholders are expected to call for measures to allow them to convert co-op shares into valuable Kerry Group shares.
It comes as mediation has broken down between the Kerry Co-op and the Kerry Group plc over the ongoing row on the 'thirteenth payment'.
Kerry's 3,300 farmer suppliers feel a strong top-up is necessary to fulfil a promise they stress was given to pay "the leading milk price".
A source close to the co-op board confirmed that the mediation had been unsuccessful and an independent arbitrator was now to be agreed by both parties to consider the Kerry milk contract.
A strong presence of farmers and 'dry' shareholders, who hold Kerry Co-op shares but are not supplying milk, are expected to attend the co-op's upcoming AGM on June 21.
It will be the first AGM since Kerry Group chief Stan McCarthy stepped down from his chief executive position with the founding co-op. In addition to the 'thirteenth payment', shareholders are expected to question from the floor why they cannot convert co-op shares into Kerry Group plc shares.
Farmer shareholders are estimated to hold 30pc of the shares in the plc after a number of spin-outs, while the co-op holds a separate 13.7pc stake of around 24 million shares valued at €1.9bn.