|Traded as||LSE: GNC|
|Founded||Dublin, Ireland (1991)|
|Gary Kennedy, Chairman|
Patrick Coveney, CEO
|Revenue||£1,498.5 million (2018)|
|£102.0 million (2018)|
|£12.6 million (2018)|
Number of employees
Greencore Group plc is a food company in Ireland. Established by the Irish government in 1991 when they privatised Irish Sugar, today its lines span mainly convenience food related interests in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Greencore is today the world's largest sandwich manufacturer. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The company was established in 1926 in Carlow as a private enterprise known as the Irish Sugar Manufacturing Company, Limited. The Sugar Manufacture Act, 1933 was passed to promote self-sufficiency in sugar manufacture; this act was brought on by a crisis in the industry and resulted in the nationalisation of sugar manufacture. After the passing of this act factories were built in Mallow, Thurles and Tuam and the company became Cómhlucht Siúicre Éireann, Teoranta, the Irish for Irish Sugar Company, Limited. The Thurles and Tuam factories were closed in the early 1980s after a rationalisation became necessary and the company decided to concentrate manufacture at its Carlow and Mallow factories.
The Sugar Act, 1991 privatised the entity and it became Greencore at that time. The act was passed as the company had diversified beyond being a sugar manufacturing company into other food products. 55% of the group was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange that year, over the years additional placements have led to almost 100% of the shares now being in private hands. The exception is that the Irish Government holds a special share certificate (value EUR 1.26) in Irish Sugar Limited in order to prevent the Irish sugar quota being sold without its consent.
In 2005 the company announced that it would close its factory in Carlow, ceasing production on 11 March. In March 2006 it was announced that the last remaining factory would close in Mallow, and this closure occurred on 12 May. The reason indicated for these closures has been the reform of European Union policies on sugar which reduced the quotas and subsidies available and therefore making its manufacture unprofitable in Ireland. In October 2009 Nordzucker announced that it had bought Greencore's 50% stake in its joint venture SugarPartners. As part of the deal, Nordzucker acquired the Siucra, McKinney and Castle brands from the company. On 10 November 2010, the European Court of Auditors found that the closure of the last Greencore sugar plant in Mallow in 2006 may not have been necessary.
The company was due to merge with Northern Foods in 2011 to form Essenta Foods, to be headquartered in Dublin but listed on the London Stock Exchange. The deal, however, fell through after businessman Ranjit Singh Boparan outbid Greencore to win the approval of Northern Foods shareholders, on 21 January 2011. On 12 July 2011, Greencore announced it intended to buy Uniq plc. The deal closed in November 2011, with Uniq resultantly delisting from the London Stock Exchange. On 25 July 2016, the company acquired The Sandwich Factory Holdings Ltd for £15m from Cranswick plc. On 14 November 2016, Greencore announced it would acquire US-based Peacock Foods for $747.5m, significantly expanding its presence in the country.
The health of Greencore's US business was questioned by investors as a result of a late August 2017 fear that Starbucks had backtracked on a contract at the coffee giant's Jacksonville facility in Florida. Brokerage house Cantor Fitzgerald became the first firm to lower its investment rating of Greencore, stating that the stock's fall was caused by "some underlying event in the US."
In October 2018, Greencore announced it would end US expansion and sell its US business to Hearthside Food Solutions for £817 million.
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- Sugar Manufacture Act, 1933 Archived 2 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine
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- Sugar Act, 1991 Archived 4 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
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