9 May 1997

Waterford Foods seeks better offer

WATERFORD Foods appears to be holding out for a better offer from Avonmore, which last month launched a "one for two" share offer for its rival dairy co-op (Business, Apr 18).

In a statement late last week, Waterford bosses said the Avonmore offer did "not reflect the underlying value of the Waterford business". In particular, it believes its brands are worth more. But if Avonmore made a better offer, it would certainly consider it.

But Waterford – which has substantial involvement in the UK market, including ownership of The Cheese Company – acknowledged there was a need for consolidation within the Irish dairy industry, giving some encouragement to Avonmore.

While expressing disappointment that Waterford could not endorse its "generous" proposal, Avonmore said it would consider whether to pursue the takeover after next weeks board meeting.n