Glanbia shareholders receive windfall

Farmers who have shares in Glanbia Co-operative Society to benefit from ‘share spin out’ as share price hit all time high of nearly €9.50 last week



8 April 2013

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More than 16,000 farmers will receive a windfall of shares in a €172 million share deal at dairy giant Glanbia. The company’s share price has skyrocketed from €1.87 on 2 December 2008 to an all-time high of almost €9.50 last Friday, 5 April. The share spin out is part of a plan to fund the establishment of a new processing company, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII). Glanbia, based largely in the south-east, has expanded internationally in the last decade and its lucrative cheese business in the United States is one of its main drivers of growth.

Glanbia Co-operative Society distributed around 7% of its holding in Glanbia PLC to its farmers last month. Most of the farmers got shares worth an average of €11,000 each; the spin out deal has seen some get considerably more. GII has emerged as the country’s largest dairy processor. It’s a joint venture between its two parent companies, Glanbia Plc and the farmer-owned Glanbia Co-op. GII now processes 30% of Ireland’s milk pool – a colossal 1.5 billion litres a year from over 4,300 farms. GII chief executive Jim Bergin is convinced that the future is bright if they stay focused on the right priorities: "When this dairy ingredients unit was part of Glanbia Plc, we were just one of nine different divisions. We were trying to compete for both capital and focus, which at times was difficult. Now we can focus 100% on three things – our suppliers, processing plants and markets."

With an annual output of 180,000 tonnes of product generating sales of €738m, GII is already Ireland’s third largest domestically owned exporter. Things are going to move up a gear in the coming weeks as the first sod is turned on the company’s €180m processing facility at Belview, near Waterford Harbour.



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