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Scottish Sector Watching Proposed Dairy Deal

NFUS Monitoring Müller bid for Wisemans

NFU Scotland has had discussions with representatives of the East Kilbride-based milk processor Robert Wiseman Dairies after confirmation that the company is subject to a bid from Müller Dairy (UK).

The boards of Müller and Wisemans have agreed on a cash offer of 390p per share which will be put to all shareholders in the coming days. Taking a number of shareholdings into account, Müller has already received undertakings and a letter of intent accounting for approximately 54.9 per cent of the issued share capital of Wisemans.

The announcement came as a major two-day dairy conference opened in Glasgow. Speaking from the Semex conference, NFU Scotland’s Milk Policy Manager, George Jamieson said:

"Following Friday’s speculation, today (Monday, 16 January 2012) brought confirmation that Müller is to make a cash offer for Robert Wiseman Dairies.   That has sparked a huge level of interest from the Scottish, UK and European dairy sector. 

“Wisemans is a Scottish and UK success story, accounting for almost one-third of the nation’s fresh milk market.  Several hundred Scottish dairy farmers supply milk direct to Wisemans every day with many of those on a supermarket contract.  In addition, the Scottish-based co-op First Milk – as well as having a significant stake in Wisemans – also supplies it with much of it additional milk requirements.  That means a Müller bid has significant implications for the Scottish and UK dairy sector.

“The potential synergies between the two companies are clear.  Müller is a very successful multinational dairy company making value-added products and Wisemans is a leading UK liquid milk processor.  The similarities between the two companies are also apparent – both have their roots in family-run businesses that have invested successfully in modern plant, product development and branding.

“While the two boards have reached agreement in terms of the recommended cash offer, there is still due process to be completed.  We understand all shareholders will be written to in the next few days and they will be required to accept or reject that offer by early February.

“NFU Scotland staff have had several discussions with Wisemans representatives today.  Those discussions will continue in the coming weeks and we will meet with Wisemans in private in the first few days of February.  We will also be approaching Müller to set up a similar meeting.

“In the meantime, Wisemans have advised us that it is business as usual at the company.  The day-to-day job of collecting, processing and distributing milk continues as before.  However, the company added that their field staff have been advised of the situation and if any farmers who supply the company are looking for further information they are being encouraged to contact their local Wisemans field officer.” 

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 05/12


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