Kerry co-op shareholders to get €200m

KERRY CO-OP shareholders in south Munster are in line for a €200m plus windfall in the coming months.

It follows a decision by the co-op to give members direct ownership of a further 10.4 million of co-op-held shares in the publicly quoted Kerry Group — or 20% of the co-op’s stakeholding in the publicly quoted company.

The decision was taken at the recent annual general meeting of the co-op and will benefit its 12,000 members who will get 7.9 shares in Kerry Plc for every co-op share exchanged.

This will be the fifth dilution of the co-op’s stakeholding in Kerry Group Plc and the move, when completed later in the year, will cut its Plc stake from 28.8% at present to 23.1%.

In 1997 the co-operative still had 50% of the Kerry Group shares, but dilutions that year, in 2002 and in 2006, have brought the holding down to the current level of 28.8%.

The swap will be done on the basis of 7.9 shares in the public company for every one co-op share exchanged.

At the co-op AGM last week it was also decided to continue the patronage scheme for another five years from 2008 to 2013 when the current one runs out — offering one co-op share to members for every 1,000 gallons of milk supplied.

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