Brexit forces Irish companies to move share settlement from Crest

Kerry Group, Kenmare and Grafton all announce plans for extraordinary meetings of shareholders


Grafton Group, Kerry Group and Kenmare Resources are planning to consult shareholders about proposed changes to how shares are managed in the wake of Brexit, with all three set to hold extraordinary general meetings in the coming weeks.

Shares in the companies are currently settled by the Crest system. But once Brexit is complete on December 31st, the UK will become a “third country”. That will necessitate migrating settlement from Crest in London to EU-based Euroclear, an intermediated system that is administratively and legally more complicated than the Crest system, to allow the shares to continue to be settled electronically for trade on the Euronext Dublin and the London Stock Exchange.

As a result of that move, Grafton Group said it would be necessary to simplify the Grafton unit, with shareholders at the EGM on January 21st asked to back plans for the surrender and cancellation of the ‘A’ Ordinary Shares and the purchase of the ‘C’ Ordinary Shares at nominal value, with the consideration waived.

If these resolutions are approved, the Grafton unit will be replaced by an Ordinary Share of €0.05 each in the company.

Kerry Group is holding an extraordinary general meeting on January 28th at its global technology and innovation centre in Naas. The meeting will consider resolutions regarding the replacement of central securities depository Crest with Euroclear for the electronic settlement of trading in the company’s ordinary shares.

Titanium minerals and zircon producer Kenmare Resources is set to hold its meeting on January 21st at its Dublin headquarters. The changes will not impact those who hold shares in paper outside the Crest system.