THE race to become the next chair of the Kilkenny-based dairy giant Glanbia is heating up, with the vote now just days away.
Waterford-based farmer Liam Herlihy will chair his last Glanbia Co-op AGM tomorrow as he steps down from his €100,000 post as chairman of the Glanbia Co-op and Plc.
In the post since 2008, he presided over a period of massive change at the multinational, with the recent opening of the €185m Belview milk processing plant.
The frontrunners in the succession race for the lucrative post, which commands an increased salary of €105,000 for 2015, are the current vice-chairs and dairy farmers Martin Keane (59) and Meath-based Henry Corbally (60).
Laoisman Mr Keane was being heavily-touted as the successor when he was nomiated to fill the seat vacated by Mr Herlihy as the Glanbia representative on the Irish Dairy Board last year.
However, sources say that the race has tightened in recent weeks with three new faces on the co-op board.
The 14 co-op board members will vote on who succeeds Mr Herlihy as the new chair at a board meeting on Friday morning. The person will then be put forward as the nominee to also become the Plc chair, with the expectation that it would be ratified.
Following the recent €238m spin out of shares, the number of co-op members on the Plc board is set to shrink from 14 down to seven by 2020.