24 March 2000

Wisemans Unigate bid

ROBERT Wiseman Dairies has launched a cash offer of £225m to buy Unigates dairy and cheese business.

If successful the merger would create a company with a capacity of 1.2bn litres a year and 26% of the UK market.

This follows the announcement at the beginning of the month of Dairy Crests bid for Unigate of 76m new shares to shareholders and a pledge to take on £100m of debt.

Unigate will continue to fulfil its obligations under that merger agreement, although it has confirmed it is also in discussions with Robert Wiseman regarding its offer. &#42