First Milk has sold an £18.8m stake in Robert Wiseman Dairies in order to invest money in its own cheese business.

Over four million ordinary Wiseman shares, representing 5.7% of the issued share capital, were sold at £4.50 per share; £2 a share more than it paid for them back in November 2004.

The move leaves First Milk with 7,162,026 shares in the company, representing 10% of the issued share capital.

“We retain a 10 per cent shareholding in Robert Wiseman Dairies and remain committed to providing excellent service to them as part of our long-term strategic partnership,” First Milk chief executive, Peter Humphreys, said.

“This disposal simply enables us to fund investment in our cheese business. We have no current plans to dispose of any of our remaining shareholding in the company.”

RWD chief executive Robert Wiseman added: “We envisage no change in our strategic partnership with First Milk and its members and we continue to value their ongoing support as shareholders and trading partners.”