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Press release   •   Jun 12, 2015 17:42 BST

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today announced that it is referring Muller UK & Ireland’s proposed acquisition of Dairy Crest’s processing, trading and distribution activities relating to liquid milk, packaged cream, flavoured milk and bulk commodity ingredients, to a Phase II assessment.

The proposed acquisition includes Dairy Crest’s dairy facilities at Severnside, Chadwell Heath, Foston and Hanworth together with around 70 depots.

During the Phase II assessment, the CMA will continue to investigate plans for the proposed acquisition before making a final decision. 

This is an expected development given the scale of the acquisition and will take approximately 6 months to complete.

Ronald Kers, Chief Executive of Müller Group said: “It was our expectation that the CMA might wish to examine our proposed acquisition in detail and we look forward to working with them to supply the information required and to achieving a positive outcome.

“The rationale for this transaction is perhaps even stronger now given the mounting challenges facing the UK fresh milk sector and we remain convinced of the need to increase our competitiveness, ensuring that customers continue to receive a quality product at a low price, whilst continuing to pay farmers fairly.

“We can achieve this by bringing Müller Wiseman Dairies and Dairy Crest’s dairy operation together leading to better efficiencies. This will give us the means to unlock higher levels of investment, category insight and product development, which is badly needed in the fresh milk aisle.”

Ends… 12 June, 2015

Issued by the Müller UK & Ireland Communications Team at 01355 270605. 

Müller UK & Ireland

Müller UK & Ireland is wholly owned by the Müller Group. It has 19 sites nationwide and employs almost 6,000 people across two business units: Müller Dairy and Müller Wiseman Dairies.

Müller Dairy is the UK’s leading branded yogurt manufacturer, with major brands such as Müller Corner, Müllerlight and Müller Rice.

The business makes chilled desserts including Cadbury Bubbles of Joy, Pots of Joy, Layers of Joy and Twin-pot products, produced under license from Mondelez.

Müller Dairy also supplies the UK private label yogurt market from a state of the art yogurt facility in Telford, Shropshire.

Müller Wiseman Dairies is a leading fresh milk, cream and butter business with a network of dairies and depots servicing customers throughout the country.

The business recently commenced butter-making, opening a major facility in Shropshire with the capacity to produce up to 45,000 tonnes of salted, unsalted and lactic butter each year for the manufacturing, food service and retail sectors.

To make its range of dairy products, the Müller UK & Ireland buys milk from more than 1,200 British dairy farmers, all of whom are Red Tractor Farm Assured.

Müller Wiseman Milk Group Dairy members elect a representative farmer board which works with the business to discuss milk supply issues, including the Group’s commitment to maintain a competitive milk price and contractual position.