Glanbia considers sale of Dairy Ireland to co-op owners

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Glanbia, Business

Glanbia is in talks about selling off its Dairy Ireland operations and other businesses to its majority shareholder Glanbia Co-operative Society Ltd.

The Society has expressed an interest in acquiring Glanbia Dairy Ireland including all its dairy ingredients, consumer products, and agribusiness operations. A deal would also include Glanbia’s property business, its business services unit and related Irish joint ventures.

Glanbia said in a regulatory statement that the discussions are progressing well although there is currently no guarantee that they will result in a transaction. Should a deal go ahead, the Society, which owns 54.64 per cent of Glanbia, would significantly reduce its stake in the Group.

Potential benefits

Explaining the potential benefits of deal for both parties, Glanbia said: “For the Society and its members such a transaction would offer the prospect of full ownership and control of the key strategic businesses that are closely aligned with their interests.

“For Glanbia, it would, in particular, increase the Group’s focus on international nutritional ingredients and cheese, significantly improve financial flexibility and enhances development of its successful growth strategy.”

In a separate announcement today, Glanbia published its financial results for the full year 2009.

Financial results

In what Glanbia called a “very difficult year”,​ total revenue fell 18 per cent to €1,830.3m while operating profit fell 17.1 per cent to €111.2m. Glanbia said the deep consumer recession in Ireland and the volatility in global dairy markets had a significant impact on revenue, while its nutrition business had a resilient year, with an especially robust performance coming from Performance Nutrition.

John Moloney, group managing director, said: “We contained the decline in our financial results with a strong performance by Global Nutritionals, a resilient performance in US cheese and the benefits of strategic cost reductions.”

US Cheese and Global Nutritionals posted a 6.1 per cent decline in revenue to €792.4m and a 7.4 per cent increase in operating profit to €90m. Meanwhile, Dairy Ireland endured a 23.3 per cent decline in revenue and operating profit almost halved from €49.7m to €24m.

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