It came down to the wire. Wexford Milk Producers (WMP) voted in favour last night, 57 per cent in favour 43 per cent against, to sell their processing plants and milk pool, accepting an offer of €20m from Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GIIL).

Speaking to AgriLand this morning, WMP chairman Marty Murphy said there were strong and robust debates last night in the Talbot Hotel in Wexford, which at times became heated over the takeover bid by GIIL.

“The general mood speaks for itself. The majority of producers accepted the proposals in the end,” he said.

In total Glanbia are paying €20m, of which €3.7m is in cash. €3m is required to purchase the remaining 30 per cent of Wexford Creamery from Dairycrest. 

“The move is very positive for WMP,” he said. “It will see an increase in our milk prices, a reduction in levies and a stronger risk-free more stable future with Glanbia.”

The chairman explained the transaction is now set for the Competition Authority and it is hoping to close the deal mid-February. In addition shareholders are now set to sign-up to new milk supply agreements.

Meanwhile, a late submission on why farmers should reject the deal was circulated by WMP board member Padraig Doyle last week and this was debated last night.

Speaking to AgriLand this morning, Doyle said there were angry exchanges at last night’s meeting.  “In the end it was up to each individual and the majority voted in favour and that is how it works,” he said.

“I don’t agree with it but in someways I am pleased. I was outnumbered on the board 12 to one, and I was thinking that I was some crank, but 43 per cent of WMP shareholders voted with me. It wasn’t the landslide that it appeared to be on the board.”