Heated exchanges over Glanbia's takeover of Wexford Creamery
It is still unclear whether a simple majority of the 370 shareholders in Wexford Milk Producers (WMP) will be enough to give the green light to the proposed €20m purchase by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited (GIIL) of Wexford Creamery.
There were angry exchanges at two shareholder meetings held last week in Wexford and Ballinaboola where the package was outlined to the creamery's milk suppliers.
Under the proposed deal €20m will be paid in redeemable preference shares in GIIL to the WMP shareholders for their 70pc stake in Wexford Creamery.
A further €2m in cash will be paid by GIIL to buy out the remaining 30pc shareholding in Wexford Creamery from British firm Dairy Crest. However, this will be clawed back from WMP suppliers in the form of a 0.5c/l levy over three to four years.
WMP chairman Marty Murphy admitted that the lack of cash in the deal and the 0.5c/l levy were two of the main points of contention raised at last week's shareholder meetings.
The fact that the defined benefit pension scheme for Wexford Creamery workers was not being covered by the GIIL deal had also been singled out for comment at the meetings.
Describing the meetings as "tough enough", Mr Murphy said management would need more time to explain the deal to shareholders.
"We are in the early days yet and a lot more understanding and a lot more clarity around the proposed deal is needed," he admitted.