18 January 2000
Wessex Dairies split and sold
By FWi staff
WESSEX Dairies, which went into receivership over the weekend, has been split and sold.
Following all-night meetings, Unigate Dairies agreed to buy Wessexs manufacturing arm at Thornbury, Bristol, for a reported 1.1 million.
The move follows Sundays purchase of the retail distribution division by Bristol-based Lordswood Dairies for an undisclosed sum.
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.
It will also help add value to bulk cream products, she added.
It is believed that 67 staff will transfer to Unigate, and a further 150 to Lordswood.
Wessex, bought by management from Northern Foods in 1995, is based at Thornbury, near Bristol.
Turnover to the end of November topped 50m, but tightening milk margins saw debts rise to about 8m.