The original Express Dairy was founded in London in 1864. The name derives from the days when fresh milk was brought into London by rail – an “express locomotive”.
In 1992, Northern Foods plc acquired Express Dairies from Grand Metropolitan plc and integrated the company into Northern Foods’ own dairy business, making Express Dairies a leader in the UK liquid milk market.
In 1998, Express Dairies was demerged from Northern Foods to become Express Dairies plc.
Since then Express has followed a strategic restructuring programme involving acquisitions, sales and joint ventures to strengthen the company’s core business and dispose of subordinate activities.
This has resulted in the following:
December 5, 1998: Express acquired a 51% stake in Claymore Dairies Ltd (Scotland) for £2.2 million (the skake was later increased to 75%).
February 26, 1999: Express acquired Star Dairies Food Service Ltd. and certain assets of Star Dairies International Ltd for £3.5 million.
June 28, 1999: Express acquired the UK liquid milk operations of Glanbia plc for £100 million.
August 5, 1999: Express acquired the share capital of Blakes Chilled Distribution Ltd. for £3 million.
November 10, 2000: Express announced a 50/50 partnership in Northern Ireland with Golden Vale PLC to create Dale Farm Dairies Limited.
October 8, 2001: Express announced the sale of Dale Farm Dairies Limited to Dromona Quality Foods Limited.
July 1, 2002: Express disposed of its UHT business and Frome creamery.
Arla Foods - Milestones