27-06-2012 08:33 AM | Dairy, News

Milk Link and ARLA Foods AMDA farmers vote yes to merger proposal



Milk Link and ARLA Foods AMDA farmers vote yes to merger proposal
99.53% of votes cast by Milk Link Members support merger with Arla Foods amba

96.8 % Arla Foods amba Board of Representatives vote in favour

The proposal to merge Milk Link and Arla Foods amba has received an overwhelmingly positive endorsement from their respective farmer owners.

The Milk Link Member vote saw a high turnout of over 83%, with 5,560 (99.53%) of the votes cast being in favour of the merger proposal and 26 (0.47%) against. Simultaneously, Arla Foods amba?s Board of Representatives also voted on the proposed merger and gave their very strong endorsement for the merger.


This means that the full merger between Milk Link, the UK?s leading dairy farmer co-operative and Arla, one of the largest and most successful European dairy co-operatives will now take place subject to the necessary regulatory authority approvals.

The merger will mean that Milk Link?s 1,600 British dairy farmer Members will become part owners of one of Europe?s leading dairy co-operatives alongside Arla?s existing Danish, Swedish and German farmers.

The merger fulfils both co-operatives? strategic priorities and will bring together two successful and growth orientated farmer-owned dairy processing businesses with complementary positions in key markets, brands and customer bases. It will create the largest player in the UK dairy market, which will process over three billion litres of milk per annum and have a combined turnover in excess of ?2 billion.

Commenting on the result of the vote, Neil Kennedy, Milk Link?s Chief Executive, said: ?The resounding vote in favour of the proposal by Milk Link?s Members gives a very strong mandate for the merger and provides real momentum for the growth and development of the merged business going forward.?

Peter Lauritzen, CEO of Arla Foods UK plc, commented: ?We are delighted that farmers from both co-operatives have voted in such numbers to approve this merger, which, subject to regulatory approval, will mean that Milk Link Members will become part of one of Europe?s leading dairy co-operatives and will be able to achieve, after a transitional period, the same level of return as enjoyed by existing Arla Foods amba members in other parts of Europe.?

Commenting further Mr Kennedy said: ?Over the past month we have undertaken a comprehensive programme of communication and engagement with our Members to ensure they fully understand the rationale for and benefits of the merger. This included the holding of 34 Member roadshows across the country and the overwhelming vote in favour very much reflects the positive reception we have had at each of these.

?As a corporate member of Arla Foods amba, our 1,600 British dairy farmer Members will now have a stake in one of Europe?s largest and most successful dairy businesses and play a positive role in its future development. Overall, we firmly believe the merger will create a strong platform for a sustainable future for Milk Link Members and the long term growth of a vibrant British dairy industry.?

Mr Lauritzen added: ?The farmer votes takes us one step closer to becoming the UK?s number one dairy company, extending our offering of a full range of high quality dairy products to our British retail and foodservice customers and focused on delivering a sustainable future for our farmer owners.?

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