Northern to separate off dairy business
Tuesday 27 January 1998
The company said there had been much talk about consolidation but little action beyond the merger between Avonmore Foods and Waterford Foods. Neil Davidson, who will head the Express Dairies business, said: "Part of the reason for making this move its to break the log jam." He said there was scope to make several smaller acquisitions among the independent dairies which still account for 10-12 per cent of the UK dairy market. "The big deal on the right terms would be the icing on the cake."
The demerger, which will take place in March, will be the first time Express Dairies has been an independent quoted company since the 1970s when it was acquired by Grand Metropolitan. It has 20 per cent of the liquid milk market in England and Wales, just ahead of Unigate. MD Foods has 15 per cent, Dairy Crest 13 per cent and Robert Wiseman 10 per cent.
Analysts said a demerged Express Dairies could be valued at around pounds 450m. The remaining Northern Foods operation is expected to be valued at around pounds 800m. It makes Fox's biscuits, Ski yoghurts and Bowyers meat pies as well as chilled desserts and ready-made meals for Marks & Spencer and the large supermarkets.
The demerger will see group chairman Christopher Haskins step back to a non-executive role, chairing both companies. "I've been involved with the business for over 40 years but I have already been reducing my day- to-day involvement and been working with the Government for two days a week. I have no intention of seeking non-executive directorships. They can be quite boring."
Michael Landymore of Henderson Crosthwaite said: "I think it [the demerger] is a good thing. Not least because it resolves the succession question." He said the demerged Express Dairies could be a vehicle for other corporate activity such as a merger with Robert Wiseman Dairies, which has over 80 per cent of the milk market in Scotland.
The shares closed down 4p at 284p.
- Nigel Cope
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...