Donegal Investment Group has announced that it is set to sell its 30% share in Monaghan Mushrooms for a figure of over €45 million.

This will be one of the biggest transactions in the Irish agri-business sector in recent times.

The news is expected to be welcomed by the company’s 1,900 shareholders, around 1,200 of which are in Donegal. Many of them are farmers.

Donegal Investment Group, which is quoted on the Irish Stock Exchange, has reached a settlement agreement to sell off its 30% share in Monaghan Mushrooms to the majority shareholders.

This follows several years of a legal battle.

The 30% share had previously been valued at €26 million, so the settlement figure represents a considerably higher figure.

In order for the deal to be finalised, Donegal Investment Group will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to seek shareholder approval.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the company said: “The total consideration payable pursuant to the Share Sale shall be €45,000,000 plus a variable amount expected to be between €400,000 and €500,000. Completion of the Share Sale is expected to occur on or prior to 15 February 2018. As the Settlement is subject to approval of the shareholders of the Company in general meeting, an EGM will be convened in due course, to take place on or prior to 15 December 2017.”

Following completion of the share sale, the Company will no longer hold its interest in Monaghan as "an asset held for sale".

There will be an initial payment of €41 million.

The Share Sale also provides for two non-conditional deferred payments as follows: €2,000,000, to be paid on or before 15 February 2019; and a further €2,000,000, to be paid on or before 15 February 2020,

This will bring the total consideration payable pursuant to the Settlement to in excess of €45,000,000.

Donegal Investment Group, which has its headquarters in Letterkenny, has operations across Ireland, the U.K., Holland, France and Brazil.

It manages a diverse portfolio of companies, operating in three main areas:

Produce: Growth, sales and distribution of seed potatoes and organic produce.

Food-Agri: Manufacture, sale and distribution of farm inputs and dairy products and rental and sale of food-agri property assets.

Associates: Monaghan Mushrooms (30% share now to be sold) North Western Livestock Holdings.

Donegal Investment Group Plc has its roots very firmly placed in the north-west. It was re-branded with its current name in 2013, to better reflect its business. In 2012, it had sold off its Donegal Creameries milk and agri-business.

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