Following confirmation that talks were taking place in the week commencing January 9 2012, Scottish group Robert Wiseman has agreed to a take over by Muller Dairy.
The £280 million deal will see the East-Kilbride based company, currently the biggest fresh milk company in Britain, join the German company, and end the Wiseman family’s 65 year association with the company.
It is a strategic move by the Bavarian company, which will see it take control of 30% of the UK’s fresh milk market. It is also an indication that expansion plans can still be enacted in a recession with the help of sensible commercial finance, which Scottish factoring companies are increasingly helping with.
Speaking of the deal group executive chairman Robert Wiseman, who will receive more than £45 million in the sale, was quick to extol its benefits, saying:
“The (deal) makes strong commercial and strategic sense. It is heartening to know that the business will become part of another family-owned business in Müller.”
There is worry in some groups that the takeover will lead to widescale job losses though, with MPs calling for guarantees that this will not be the case. To help with the transition, Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow Michael McCann is eager to meet all parties involved.
There was some assurance from Heiner Kamps, the chief executive of Muller straight away though, who said:
“(The deal) will create significant opportunities (for) suppliers, customers, consumers and employees.”
It is a significant move for the industry, with Wiseman presently running seven dairies throughout the UK. How the operations of the group will change, is certain to be something which is eagerly watched.