Paisley-based dairy co-operative First Milk, which has 2,000 farmer shareholders throughout the UK, has arranged a refinancing deal to better help with its future growth plans.
The £120m package, jointly provided through Barclays and Lloyds TSB banks, has been arranged to help its strategy over the next three years. It replaces the existing deal put in place in 2009.
It comes after a number of acquisitions have been made by the company. These include the high-profile takeover of CNP Professional, the English sports nutrition firm.
The move, by the business responsible for an eighth of the UK’s milk output, in many ways goes against the strategy taken by other Scottish companies. To help with their future plans, many are electing to go with invoice factoring and discounting, as opposed to taking on further debt.
The refinance deal is seen as the right move by First Milk’s finance director, Ian Forgie, who said:
“We are pleased that Lloyds and Barclays continue to buy into the direction we’re taking the business.
“They understand that our drive is all about building an added value food company that can generate a range of income streams at home and abroad, which gives us the ability to pass back better returns to our farmer shareholders.”
As well as producing over 12 per cent of the national milk output, Milk First also supplies significant levels of many other dairy products across the world. By moving into the emerging economies, it hopes to be in a good position to boost its sales levels.