So the Glanbia deal went through, and comfortably.

The co-op will now assume 100% control of the entire Irish business, and with over 80% approval for all of the proposals, the board has a strong mandate to move forward with.

One issue the co-op might need to look at, once the dust has settled, is how to meet the concerns of disgruntled and concerned shareholders who opposed this deal, in particular dry shareholders.

And perhaps it could look at Kerry Co-op for guidance.

It addressed the issue of shareholders with (to borrow a phrase) “no strategic interest” in Kerry’s future a way out through a series of share redemption schemes. Thousands of shareholders have partially or totally cashed out.

Mundy Hayes is the recently retired Kerry Co-op chair.

I don’t think Glanbia dry shareholders expect to get full “see through” value for their co-op shares, but there is a lot of room between €5 (the price offered recently by Glanbia Co-op for shares) and the latent value of each co-op share.

It is surely within the capacity of the board and new CEO Jim Bergin to find a middle ground.

It is unquestionably in their own strategic interest to see the proportion of the co-op owned by active farmers, be they dairy, drystock or tillage, increase.

New Kerry co-op chair Denis Carroll. \ Valerie O’Sullivan

Kerry Co-op, under new chair Denis Carroll, has much to ponder. Mundy Hayes can look back on his tenure with some satisfaction, progress was made on a number of fronts.

The vacuum created by the removal of the plc from the running of the co-op was partially filled by Thomas Hunter McGowan.

However, it seems incongruous that the co-op, worth some €2bn, doesn’t look after its own share register –that function is still carried out by the plc.

Appetite for change

Kerry now stands alone as the only dairy processor that is not a farmer-owned co-op, and there is an appetite among dairy farmers to change that.

The question of how much money Kerry Group historically owes to milk suppliers has returned to arbitration, and will likely drag through next year.

Kerry Group’s 2021 valuation of its dairy business looks pricey compared with Glanbia Ireland’s much larger milk pool

The co-op and plc being on opposite sides of that wrangle may delay any resumption of negotiations over buying Kerry’s Irish dairy business. However, if both sides want a deal, negotiations will resume.

Kerry Group’s 2021 valuation of its dairy business looks pricey compared with Glanbia Ireland’s much larger milk pool, much newer processing capacity and much bigger grain and agribusiness.

Even if a price can be agreed, the co-op lacks the expertise to run a business. Much to ponder indeed.