The English dairy group, Express Dairies, has announced its intention to acquire the Irish Glanbias (Avonmore-Waterford) liquid milk business in the UK for £100 m.The move represents the beginning of the long-awaited consolidation of the UK dairy industry and gives Express a 30% share of the UK milk market. MD Foods, the UK's third largest dairy group, has a market share of 13%t. Unigate continues to rank second. Kim Nielsen, Group Director, MD Foods, regards the acquisition as a step in the right direction.
"The acquisition is a major step towards the achieving a more rational supply structure in the UK," he says.
Kim Nielsen points out, however, that the move does not significantly shift market shares in terms of supplies to the retail trade which accounts for the major part of MD Foods' milk sales in the UK. 85% of Glanbia's sales are doorstep while 15 per cent goes to shops.
"MD Foods has created a sales platform with considerable supplies to the major multiples," he says and points out that MD is the 2nd largest supplier of milk to the UK retail trade.
With a market share of 9 per cent, Glanbia's UK liquid milk business occupied fifth place in the market. Last year, the company's turnover totalled GBP 292.2 million from 5 dairy plants with approximately 2,000 employees.
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