Left to right: Lakeland Dairies’ Group Chief Executive Michael Hanley and Chairman, Alo Duffy, with William McConnell, Chairman, and Trevor Lockhart, Chief Executive of Fane Valley Co-operative.
Fane Valley and Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Societies have confirmed that final agreement has been reached on a deal structure which will see Lakeland acquire the Fane Valley Dairies business based at Banbridge, Co. Down, effective from 1st May 2016.
This simplified deal structure is considered to be a better option than the originally proposed strategic joint ventures, announced previously in August 2015, which would have involved both the dairy and agri-business interests of the respective businesses.
Michael Hanley, Chief Executive of Lakeland Dairies Co-operative stated:
The strategic rationale behind Lakeland Dairies and Fane Valley co-operating to advance the interests of their respective businesses is as strong today as it was in August 2015. It is extremely positive that the Boards of both co-operatives have had the foresight to recognise the limitations of the initially proposed Joint Venture arrangements and the courage to adapt and revise their approach.
The current market environment is undoubtedly challenging both for producers and processors. However we have a strong ambition, in Lakeland, to further strengthen our position in global markets as a leading provider of high quality foodservice products and dairy food ingredients.
The agreement we have reached with our neighbouring co-operative, Fane Valley, represents a major step forward for the industry and for Lakeland Dairies, albeit not via the structure initially envisaged. The move will reinforce our continuing commitment to pay the highest possible milk price to all our milk producers through continuing innovation, efficiency and excellence in everything we do. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Fane Valley to progress the mutual success of our milk suppliers in the years ahead.
Mr Hanley concluded:
Producers with queries on the new arrangements are encouraged to contact their usual farm liaison officer who will be pleased to provide further information.