Arla Foods UK and Yeo Valley partnership cleared

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The transaction gives Arla Foods the rights to use the Yeo Valley brand in the UK for milk, butter, spreads and cheese under an intellectual property license with Yeo Valley.
The transaction gives Arla Foods the rights to use the Yeo Valley brand in the UK for milk, butter, spreads and cheese under an intellectual property license with Yeo Valley.

Related tags: Yeo valley, Arla, Arla foods, Arla foods uk

Following the announcement in February this year of the partnership between Arla Foods and Yeo Valley on liquid milk, butter and cheese, Arla Foods said it is pleased the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved the deal following a Phase 1 investigation, and that the transaction is now unconditional.

In a statement, Arla Foods UK said, “We look forward to legal completion and to working together on growing the Yeo Valley organic dairy brand in the UK.”

Ash Amirahmadi, managing director, Arla Foods UK, said: “This is significant news for our business, the industry and our farmer owners. We want to maximize the growth in organic dairy products and continued investment in the Yeo Valley and Arla brands will be key to this.

“We particularly want to extend a warm welcome to the dairy farmers within the Coombe Farm Milk Pool who are partner suppliers to Waitrose Duchy Organic.  Our cooperative beliefs and values are very aligned and we look forward to working closely in the coming months.”

Deal announced in February

In February, Arla Foods Limited, a subsidiary of Arla Foods amba, announced the acquisition of Yeo Valley Dairies Limited​, a subsidiary of the Yeo Valley Group Limited.

The transaction gives Arla Foods the rights to use the Yeo Valley brand in the UK for milk, butter, spreads and cheese under an intellectual property license with Yeo Valley.

At the time of the initial announcement, Peter Giørtz-Carlsen, executive vice president and head of Europe in Arla Foods, said the potential for organic dairy products in the UK is significant, and the investment through the licensing agreement with Yeo Valley “provides a significant opportunity to offer a greater choice to consumers at attractive prices.”

Giørtz-Carlsen added, “Our ambition is to encourage customers in the UK to trade up from standard to organic milk, butter and cheese, driving overall growth for organic across dairy categories.”

The Yeo Valley yogurt, ice cream, cream and desserts business will continue to be run independently and remain under the ownership of the Mead family.

In May, 2018, the CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties, The CMA invitation to comment period closed June 1, with the decision on allowing the deal to go ahead issued July 11. The CMA said its full decision ruling and comments would be published shortly.