10 March 1998
Former NFU chief for role at Express Dairies?
RECENTLY-retired National Farmers Union president Sir David Naish is expected to be named as a non-executive director of Express Dairies when it publishes its listing document today.
Express Dairies — the milk business being demerged by Northern Foods — is also expected to show that the company has returned to profit this financial year which ends this month.
The new board will have just two executive directors — Neil Davidson, chief executive and Paul Whitfield, finance director. Chris Haskins, Northern Foods chairman will be non-executive director and Russell Edey, of NM Rothschild, Northerns merchant bank, will transfer his non-executive role from Northern Foods.
The Northern Foods milk business saw operating profits dive in 1996 to £44.8 million from £60.8 million after it was hit by a £17 million adverse swing in the dairy commodities business.
The Financial Times says the business will look completely different within a year or two if everything proceeds to plan.
Analysts expect ED to be rated at a discount to the sector when its shares start trading at the end of March. A price of about 160p is anticipated, reaping a market value of £480 million.
This months demerger could be a precursor to another merger with the belief that consolidation is inevitable in the industry.
- Financial Times 10/03/98 page 31