Farmers have scuppered an attempt by Glanbia group to sell Ireland's top dairy processer to its biggest shareholder, following concerns over the price of the E300m-plus deal and the loss of control.
While some 73% of members of the Glanbia Co-operative Society supported the deal, which would streamline Glanbia group into a global supplier of cheese and ingredients, the proportion fell short of the 75% needed to carry the vote.
The failure scotches plans which would have handed the co-operative the dairy division, which suffered its first ever loss last year, at the price of a big selldown of its 56% Glanbia stake.
About half the co-operative's 8,000 members, who each had one vote, attended Monday's meeting, which followed agreement among co-operative and Glanbia managers over a deal.
John Moloney, the Glanbia managing director, said the deal's failure was "big disappointment".
"We believed this was a compelling and strategic opportunity for both the society and the plc," he said.
"We did not undertake this process lightly."
It was important for Glanbia "to take some time to reflect on this outcome", Mr Moloney added, although a person familiar with the company's thinking said it looked unlikely the deal would be reheated for now.
"It's not something where you can go back and have another vote in a few days' time," the source said, highlighting the need to understand better the reasons behind opposition to the deal.
"To restart the process would be some undertaking."
A poll by the Irish Independent showed price and the loss of control over Glanbia group as major reasons for opposing the deal.
Glanbia revealed the poll results after the close of Dublin's stock exchange, where its shares closed up 8.2% at E3.084 on Monday.
The group will on Tuesday, May 11 reveal a trading statement, but has ditched a meeting of its own shareholders on May 25 to vote on the deal.