Dale Farm confirms 'interest' in LacPatrick
The UK's largest co-op Dale Farm has said it is 'interested' in the announcement by LacPatrick yesterday that it is interested in a merger.
In a statement today, Dale Farm’s Nick Whelan stated: “As the largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative in Northern Ireland, and indeed the UK, Dale Farm has been made aware of the situation at LacPatrick and we have an interest in these developments.”
It's understood that the two processors have spoken in recent days.
Formerly United Dairy Farmers, Dale Farm is owned by over 1,300 dairy farmers across the UK. With headquarters in Belfast, Dale Farm has 10 sites across the UK and a long-standing heritage in the dairy industry.
Its dairy portfolio spans milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, sports nutrition drinks, cultured products and desserts
According to Dale Farm, its business model presents the company with much room for growth, particularly in relation to Brexit, given its strength in the UK market and ongoing commitment to innovation and it has invested over £60m in the last five years into developing the business
However, it's understood a domestic deal, to merge with a rival with a more diversified income base, is the most likely outcome if there is a deal.
Lakeland Dairies is understood to be the most likely merger partner, according to industry analysts, but LacPatrick Co-op members will have the ultimate say, and any merger would need backing from 75pc of members.