Suppliers offer €9m for Wexford Creamery stake
Milk suppliers to Wexford Creamery have made a €9m pitch for a controlling stake in the business.
Wexford Milk Producers (WMP), a co-operative of 350 dairy farmers who supply the creamery, has announced that it is in advanced discussions with Dairy Crest to purchase 50pc of the shares in Wexford Creamery Limited.
If successful, the bid will result in WMP becoming the majority shareholder. It would increase WMP's shareholding from 20pc to 70pc, with Dairy Crest's shareholding falling from 80pc to 30pc.
Negotiations between the parties are expected to be finalised by the end of March but any deal will be subject to approval by WMP's members.
A statement from WMP said the proposed increase in the farmers' shareholding would give milk suppliers a greater input into the processing business and allow Dairy Crest to concentrate on their key brands.
It is proposed that Dairy Crest will continue to provide a range of services to Wexford, including packing and distribution. Dairy Crest will also sell Wexford-branded cheese in Britain on behalf of the creamery.
Wexford Creamery produces a range of quality cheeses for the Irish and British markets, as well supplying milk and fresh cream products across the south east. For the year ended March 31, the company's turnover was €56m.