Kerry Group dishes out €2.2m share award to executives

Food ingredients company gives top three executives shares under incentive scheme

Irish food ingredients giant Kerry Group has awarded its three top executives over €2.2 million in shares as part of the company's long-term incentive scheme.

The company awards shares to executives over three years once it meets certain performance targets.

According to filings with the Irish Stock Exchange this week, chief executive Edmond Scanlon was awarded 8,550 shares worth just over €912,000, primarily under Kerry's long-term incentive scheme.

Gerry Behan, president and chief executive of Kerry's taste and nutrition division, got a bigger award under the scheme, receiving 10,486 shares worth €1.1 million.


The company’s chief financial officer Marguerite Larkin was also awarded shares worth €196,000 under the scheme.

Long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) are typically used by companies to encourage executives to remain with an organisation.

Mr Scanlon’s pay packet – including basic salary, bonuses, incentives and pension entitlements – rose to just under €4 million in 2019, an increase of 55 per cent.

This was still less than predecessor Stan McCarthy, who took home a total package of €5.3 million in 2017.

Kerry Group will hold its annual general meeting of shareholders on April 29th.

Consumer foods

The company has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise on the future of its consumer foods business, which may see its chilled meat and convenience meals business sold and dairy products operation spun off into a joint venture with its main shareholder, Kerry Co-op.

The Co-op, whose shareholders include farmers who sell milk to Kerry Group’s processing plants, is the plc’s largest shareholder.

It is considering raising €240 million from the sale of shares to fund its participation in a €800 million dairy business joint venture with the group.

Kerry Co-op owns a 12.3 per cent stake in Kerry Group, which is worth €2.46 billion based on the group’s market capitalisation of more than €20 billion.

The Co-op has been in talks for some months on taking a controlling 60 per cent stake in the manufacturing facilities and brands including Dairygold, Charleville and Kerry Low-Low spreads.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times