02 June 1999
Express pays £100m for Glanbia in UK

EXPRESS DAIRIES is paying £100 million for the UK dairy business of Glanbia.

Express plans to shut most of the five dairy plants purchased from Glanbia, the Irish foods group, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The deal gives Express 9% of the market in England and Wales and almost 30% of the supply of milk to doorsteps, supermarkets and small shops.

It is expected to be scrutinised by the Office of Fair Trading.

Express has held back £10m of the consideration in case the deal is referred to the Competition Commission.

The Glanbia UK milk operation made a trading profit of £18m last year. It has since lost its Asda and Safeway contracts and half of its Tesco business.

Glanbia, formerly Avonmore-Waterford, warned its profits this year would be hit by weakness in the Irish milk market and poor results in pork and UK cheese.