Farm Ireland

Friday 19 January 2018

Glanbia plc bid 'a big chance'

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Glanbia chairman Liam Herlihy has described the co-op's bid for the Glanbia plc's Irish businesses as a "defining opportunity" for shareholder members.

In a recent letter, which was sent to the co-op's 8,000 shareholders, Mr Herlihy set out the co-op management position.

Mr Herlihy pointed out that Glanbia's Irish business had a turnover of €1bn and generated a profit of €50.3 m in 2008.

He said the co-op's aim was to put in place a business which was lowly geared in terms of borrowings.

"As a stand alone business this will be starting from the position of being financially fit for purpose and lowly geared. The profits generated from the business will be used for the exclusive benefit of members," Mr Herlihy said.

He added that the co-op would retain what he described as a "strategic investment" in the plc, despite financing the Irish business purchase from a sell-off of a proportion of the co-op's 54.4pc plc shareholding.


Reservations have been expressed by some Glanbia farmers regarding the leadership of any new co-op business, with some farmers claiming that current plc leader John Maloney will be difficult to replace.

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However, Mr Herlihy reiterated that the co-op was intent on appointing a top-class chief executive should the buy-back get the green light from farmers.

He said discussions were progressing well, and added that the co-op board remained hopeful of concluding a deal with Glanbia plc.

Mr Herlihy promised an "extensive communications programme" for members should any deal be agreed.

Irish Independent