Kerry May Sell Dairy Business as CEO Scanlon Orders Review

Kerry Group Plc is exploring a potential sale of what was once its bedrock dairy business as it seeks to cement its position into a global ingredients player.

A strategic review of the U.K. and Ireland dairy business is under way, Tralee-based Kerry said in a statement on Tuesday. Bloomberg News earlier reported that the company’s consumer food business could be sold. There’s no certainty that the review will lead to a transaction, Kerry said in a statement.

Chief Executive Officer Edmond Scanlon is responding to rapid changes in the food-and-beverage industry, with many customers embracing healthier products with natural ingredients. Kerry was one of the bidders for DuPont Inc.’s nutrition arm in 2019 before losing out, and may seek to grow through new acquisitions. The company said on Monday it’s seeking to buy Spanish company Biosearch.

Any deal involving the dairy business would likely require negotiations with Kerry Co-Operative Creameries Ltd., an Irish farming collective and shareholder of the company. Shares of Kerry rose 0.6% in Dublin trading, giving the company a market value of 18.9 billion euros ($22.9 billion).

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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