The board of Kerry Co-op has until January 31st to exercise an option whether to acquire Kerry Agribusiness from Kerry Group.
Kerry Co-op is the largest shareholder in Kerry Group and the deadline to exercise the option, which was agreed in 2002, expires at the end of January.
If the board of Kerry Co-op decides to exercise this option; it does not mean the automatic acquisition of Kerry Agribusiness.
Rather it would set in train a process of evaluating the financial merits of acquiring the business.
Ultimately, 60% of A and B Kerry Co-op shareholders – those who have voting rights – would have to back the acquisition for it to go ahead.
Co-op secretary Thomas Hunter McGowan says it’s a lengthy process.
When the board sought the views of shareholders with voting rights, only 22% responded and of this number, only 27% indicated support for acquiring Kerry Agribusiness and/ or examining the possibility of joining forces with another co-op or milk processing company.