Business Irish

Sunday 25 February 2018

Glanbia agrees to sell Irish dairy unit

Louisa Fahy

Glanbia Plc has agreed to sell its Irish dairy unit to Glanbia Co-operative Society Ltd for about €343m to focus on its international nutritional ingredients and cheese businesses.

Glanbia Co-op will pay through the sale of Glanbia shares and €49.7m in cash, Glanbia said in a regulatory statement today.

The share placing will reduce the Co-op’s stake in Glanbia to about 20pc from 54.6pc.

The Irish dairy unit includes Glanbia’s dairy ingredients, consumer products and agribusiness divisions.

The sale will give Glanbia “financial flexibility” to develop its international operations and grow in the nutritional ingredients and cheese markets, the company said. The sale is expected to be completed no later than June 15.

Glanbia, which is based in Kilkenny, also said today it expects a “marked” first-half improvement.

“This transaction provides the prospect of reshaping the business and unlocking growth and development potential,” Glanbia managing director John Moloney said in the statement.

Glanbia Co-op plans to place 102 million Glanbia shares, valued at €316.2m based on the April 16 closing price. The sale is conditional on proceeds of at least €299.6m, the statement shows.

Investors in Glanbia Co-op must vote in favour of the acquisition at two shareholder meetings. Three-quarters of them must approve the Co-op’s reduced stake in Glanbia.

“It’s fair to say that’s a large figure,” Moloney said in a phone interview today, adding that the Co-op will start a campaign to get shareholder backing.


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