Kerry Group has suspended discussions with Kerry Co-operative in relation to a “potential transaction” for the group’s dairy related businesses, the group has announced.

The move is part of an ongoing strategic review into the businesses, the group says.

In a brief statement this evening (Thursday, April 15), a spokesperson for the group said:

“As announced in February 2021, Kerry Group plc is conducting a strategic review of its dairy-related businesses in Ireland and the UK.

“As part of the strategic review, Kerry Group plc confirms that discussions with Kerry Co-Operative Creameries Limited in relation to a potential transaction have been suspended.

“While the strategic review continues, there is no certainty that this will lead to a transaction and a further update on the strategic review process will be communicated later this year,” the group representative concluded.

In a separate statement, a spokesperson for Kerry Co-op said: “The Board of Kerry Co-Operative Creameries Limited notes the decision of Kerry Group plc to suspend discussions relating to a potential transaction concerning the Group’s Dairy business.

“With the prime focus of protecting the interests of, and delivering for all its stakeholders, the co-op, over the past 18 months, engaged in a thoroughly professional approach to give this potential opportunity every possibility of success.

“We believe a fair valuation was put on the proposed transaction.

“The board of Kerry Co-op will remain open to evaluating opportunities,” the co-op representative said.

The discussions around a potential transaction had provoked both interest and unrest among shareholders of Kerry Co-op, with concerns raised as to whether co-op members would get a vote on a move for the dairy businesses.

It was believed that a formal bid was imminent from the cooperative, with Kerry Co-op board holding a meeting on the matter last week – with a decision made to progress with a bid.

Kerry Group milk price

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Kerry Group announced a lift in its milk price for March.

It was the third processor this week to announce a milk price increase for March

“Our base price for March milk supplies will increase by 1c/L to 34c/L including VAT at 3.30% protein and 3.60% butterfat.

This, a spokesperson added, converts to 37.35c/L including VAT at EU standard constituents of 3.40% protein and 4.20% butterfat.

“Based on Kerry’s average milk solids for March, the milk price return inclusive of VAT and bonuses is 37.40c/L,” the spokesperson said.