Wessex Dairies split and sold
WESSEX Dairies, which went into receivership last weekend, has been split and sold.
After all-night meetings, Unigate Dairies agreed to buy Wessexs manu-facturing arm at Thornbury, Bristol, on Tuesday for a reported £1.1m.
Last March, Unigate bought Wessexs doorstep delivery business. Organic milk sales have been growing fast, and the latest move gives Unigate access to its own supplies, said a spokeswoman.
This follows Sundays purchase of Wessexs retail distribution division by Bristol-based Lordswood Dairies for an undisclosed sum.
Lordswood will now supply more than 5000 customers, including restaurants, caterers, schools and hospitals, with over 300,000 pints of milk a day. This will push turnover up from £10m to about £25m in the next financial year, said chairman Malcolm Pearce.
Wessex, bought by management from Northern Foods in 1995, achieved a turnover to the end of November of £50m, but tightening milk margins saw debts rise to about £8m. *