“A Perfect Match”: Arla Foods UK CEO Peter Lauritzen and Milk Link Chief Executive Neil Kennedy on the Creation of a Dairy Giant
BROMSGROVE, England, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
“Two strong businesses together make an even stronger business,” Milk Link CEO Neil
Kennedy insisted during a joint interview with Arla Foods UK CEO Peter Lauritzen
[http://bit.ly/Ku8EzO ] as he discussed the proposed merger between the two groups.
Last week, Arla Foods revealed plans to merge with UK dairy farmer co-operative Milk
Link. If approved, the deal will create the largest dairy group in the country with the
capacity to process 3bn litres of milk per annum, control of about 25% of the UK’s milk
production and a turnover in excess of GBP2bn (US$3.16bn).
“Our aim is obviously to be an effective supplier but at the same time to deliver
competitive returns. I think you do that by being efficient, you do that by building
brands, you do that by creating differentiation value. And I think the combined business
is better placed to do all these things,” Kennedy remarked.
Speaking to just-food, Lauritzen and Kennedy claimed the merger would bring the
companies and their farmer owners a variety of benefits.
Kennedy believes that through greater scale and backed by Arla’s financial clout Milk
Link members will be better positioned to contend with global competitors. He said: “The
competitors we have as farmer owners – large scale businesses like Danone and Muller and
Nestle – are global either private or PLC businesses we are having to compete with and we
need to be able to have the scale and the investment to match”.
For its part, Arla will fill in the white space in its product portfolio through Milk
Link’s cheese capabilities.
“We have been missing the traditional English cheeses like cheddar. This will
certainly be a benefit for us. That is why the merger is a perfect match,” Lauritzen said.
Hinting of things to come, Lauritzen added that Arla plans to keep up its high level
of investment and suggested that some of Arla’s brand building know-how could be extended
to Milk Link’s cheeses.
Both Kennedy and Lauritzen are backing the proposed plans as they are put before the
cooperatives farmer shareholders for ratification.
Read more on just-food.com [http://bit.ly/Ku8PLx ] for the full joint interview with
Arla and Milk Link [http://bit.ly/Ku8JUb ].
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