LacPatrick in merger talks with three firms - including rivals
One of the biggest dairy co-ops in the Border region is in talks with as many as three potential merger partners.
The Irish Independent understands that the board of LacPatrick Dairies has been approached by one overseas investor and two domestic co-operatives about possible tie-ups.
It is 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.
Co-op members will have the ultimate say, and any merger would need backing from 75pc of members.
LacPatrick was formed from the merger of the old Town of Monaghan Dairy in the Republic and Ballyrashane Diary in Co Tyrone. It processes more than 600 million litres of milk from more than 1,000 farmers, roughly half on each side of the Border.
The business is profitable and has made significant investment to Brexit-proof its operations, but has been under pressure to lift its milk prices to match rivals.
In a statement yesterday, LacPatrick confirmed that it is looking at possible deals.