Express Dairies to take over Glanbia?
By Vicky Houchin
EXPRESS Dairies has refused to comment on industry speculation that it is about to launch a £100 million takeover bid for the Irish dairy group Glanbia.
The deal, which would have to be cleared by the Office of Fair Trading, would give Express more than 30% of the UK market with 1750 million litres of milk.
The company would also command about 27% of the supermarket milk market and 30% of the market for doorstep deliveries.
Express, which is due to announce its annual results next week, made pre tax profits of £54.80m last year on a turnover of £753m.
Its shares have fallen 1p since the start of trading this morning at 116p.
Shares in Glanbia, which has been losing market share recently, were untraded at 11.45am (BST) today priced at 112p.
The Ulster Farmers Union said it was hard to know what implications any deal with Express would have for dairy farmers in the province.
As far as these producers are concerned it will be the last thing they want to hear, said union spokesman Joe McDonald.
Earlier this year, Express gave just three weeks notice before terminating its milk contracts with dairy producers in Ulster.
No compensation was paid to those farmers, although some were offered help in finding new contracts.
The majority of producers moved to Glanbia but now face the prospect of dealing with Express again.