Co-op accepts €33m Kerry Group bid

NEWMARKET Co-op shareholders voted in favour of a €33 million bid for their society last night at a meeting in Meelin, Co Cork.

A total of 81% of shareholders, or 357, voted in favour and 19%, 82, were against. There no abstentions. There was a turnout of 439 members – 88%. A 66% majority was required for approval of the deal.

The transaction, which is subject to Competition Authority approval, will be worth an average €39,000 to each of the co-op’s 680 shareholders, most of them in the Duhallow region of North West Cork.

Last month, the co-op confirmed Kerry had offered to buy the entire issued share capital of Newmarket for €421 per share.

Supporters of the deal predict it will be good for farmers and the region and that Kerry will continue to develop the business in Newmarket. But some farmers were concerned there was no milk price assurance contained in the proposal and the offer did not reflect what it sees as the co-op’s full value.

Kerry has indicated in writing it will purchase milk from suppliers in accordance with its terms and conditions. This would include participation in the Kerry Co-op patronage scheme for milk suppliers from April, 2011.

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