Milk Link buys out Glanbia to lead UK cheese

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk link, Cheese

UK dairy co-operative Milk Link has consolidated its position in
the country's cheese market after buying out partner firm Glanbia
from The Cheese Company.

Milk Link used bank loans to buy out Glanbia's 25 per cent stake and achieve full ownership of what is now the UK's largest cheese producer for a total £47m.

The deal hands Milk Link a bigger slice of the UK cheese market, including higher value cheeses such as Stilton, which the firm hopes will improve its earnings.

The group sold its liquid milk division to the Robert Wiseman dairy processor last year as part of its plan to focus on added value products.

Milk Link chairman, Barry Nicholls, said the buyout of The Cheese Company Holdings (TCCH) was "a necessary and positive step forward in the rearranging of Milk Link's finances"​.

Together, Glanbia and Milk Link brought The Cheese Company Holdings (TCCH) back from the dead last year, taking it to a £5.6m pre-tax profit for the 12 months ended April 1, compared to a £3.6m loss the year before.

Two of its strongest performers in 2006 were Stilton blue cheese and low fat products, which increased sales by 15 and 30 per cent respectively.

The results spurred Milk Link to a 25 per cent rise in operating profits in the year ended 30 April 2006.

Milk Link's producer members will now be keen to find out if they can expect higher prices for their milk as a result of the group's reorganisation.

Glanbia, based in Ireland, appeared happy to escape from its remaining interest in TCCH and said it wanted to concentrate on international markets instead.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Consolidation, Cheese

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