Sunday 17 December 2017

Two Co-op directors who opposed spin-out deal 'removed' from board

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

TWO of the Glanbia directors who opposed last year's spin-out have effectively been removed from the board after the Co-op voted against putting them forward for re-election at this year's annual general meeting.

In an unprecedented move, Glanbia Co-op's governing council voted against re-nominating Brendan Hayes and Robert Prendergast to the board of Glanbia Plc, the food group it part owns.

Under the plc's rules, the co-op can nominate 12 members to the plc board. These farmers are put forward by their own region and are then ratified by the Co-op Council.

Up until now, the council has always backed who was put forward by the regions.

Mr Hayes, who farms near Carrick-on-Suir in Co Waterford had been backed unanimously by his region. Mr Prendergast, who farms near Goresbridge in Co Kilkenny, had won his nomination with more than double the vote of his nearest challenger.

Mr Hayes had sat on the plc board since 2010, while Mr Prendergast took his seat in 2008.

John Murphy, a third director who had been against last year's plan to spin off Glanbia's dairy business into a separate company, was voted through by the council.

The council's move came as a huge surprise and threatened to overshadow what had been a strong set of annual results from Glanbia that had been warmly welcomed by analysts.

Goodbody Stockbrokers' Liam Igoe said Glanbia's profit after tax and exceptional items of €144.2m on the back of revenue of €2.2bn was ahead of expectations. The dividend has been bumped up 9.09c for the year, while the company has a €200m war chest for acquisitions.

"The key driver of the 24pc rise in consolidated operating profits was its core US Cheese & Global Nutritionals division, where profits increased by a third last year and in line with our forecast," he said.

"The balance sheet is strong and the statement indicates that 2013 will be a year of refocusing on its strategy to carry it through the next decade."

Irish Independent

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