The boards of Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick have jointly welcomed the regulatory approval for the merger of the two societies.
The merger, which was agreed upon by the boards of both societies in October 2018, was granted approval from both the Competition and Merger Authority (CMA) in the UK and the Consumer and Competition Protection Commission (CCPC) in Ireland.
The two authorities determined that competition would not be affected as a result of the merger.
A number of standard legal and administrative procedures will now be completed to enable the new Society to begin trading at the end of March, until then, the two co-ops will continue to operate independently with each setting its own milk price.
Future Of Significant Progress
“We’re very pleased to have reached the conclusion of this process which is now a starting point for future significant progress,” Michael Hanley, CEO Designate of the new Lakeland Dairies, said.
“We are energised and ambitious to create strategic advantages in an intensely competitive market environment where we intend to ensure the best possible realisation of the benefits of this merger for our members and for all of our customers around the world.
“Significant work will have to take place to make the new organisation as efficient as possible and to return the strongest possible milk price back to our farmers,” he continued.
“The combined businesses have the potential to be one of the powerhouses of the global dairy industry but we must work hard to realise that potential by creating economies of scale and combining our complementary product mix.”
The new society – to be called Lakeland Dairies Co-Operative Society Limited – will be the second largest dairy processor on the island of Ireland with a cross-border milk pool of 1.8 billion litres, produced by 3,200 farms from 15 counties.
The new co-op will have a combined annual turnover in excess of €1 billion, creating an internationally competitive scale while ensuring efficient costs of operation.
Maximising Market Returns
“The merger will help us to create efficiencies across our organisation which will enhance value and maximise available market returns for the benefit of milk producers,” Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies said.
“I express our strong appreciation to the shareholders of both societies for their confidence in this historic development which will underpin the long term sustainability of our dairy farming enterprises for the future.”
“We look forward to the continuing future success of Lakeland Dairies as a fully integrated dairy industry player, creating efficiencies and further added value for our milk producers with enhanced global market access for our high-quality dairy products,” Andrew McConkey, Chairman of LacPatrick Dairies said.
“The merger gives our farmers the necessary security to make long-term business decisions and provides stability for continuing progress in dairy farming for the next generation. With a large milk pool and well-invested dairy processing sites on both sides of the border, the new Lakeland will be a co-op of considerable scale.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.