27% of Kerry Co-op shareholders who respond to consultation back options put to them

Just over a quarter of Kerry Co-op shareholders who responded to a consultation document issued by their board say they’re in favour of future directions outlined to them.

Kerry Co-op is the largest shareholder in Kerry Group plc.

The co-op’s board has been seeking the views of shareholders who have voting rights in the organisation.

Some shareholders are calling out for the spin out of shares, a move not favoured by the board and this has led to divisions.

The board of Kerry Co-op says it issued more than 6,700 forms to Class A and Class B shareholders; ‘C’ shareholders have no voting rights and were not consulted.

The board sought views on two options – the first, regarding the possible acquisition of Kerry Agribusiness from Kerry Group, and the second, to work with a co-op or milk processing company through a merger or joint venture arrangement or other suitable structures.

Kerry Co-op board received 1,507 responses – a 22% response rate.

44% of those who responded said they weren’t in favour of either option.

27% indicated their support for one or both options.

29% of shareholders who took part specifically stated they wanted their shares spun out – the Kerry Co-op Shareholders’ Alliance says this’d represent a windfall for members, however, the board says there’d be serious tax implications for shareholders.

Kerry Co-op says the process was not a vote but a non-binding consultation and will assist in developing the organisation’s strategy.

The co-op has until January to decide whether to trigger the process whereby it could begin exercising an option to acquire Kerry Agribusiness from Kerry Group.

The board says this doesn’t mean that the acquisition would happen in January rather that it would be the start of a process, which would culminate in a vote, which if it were to happen, would take place later in 2019.

60% of A and B shareholders’ votes would be needed to approve the acquisition of Kerry Agribusiness.