Lakeland Dairies urges strong turnout to support merger

'Shareholders will be taking part in a truly historic moment in shaping the future growth and success of their co-operative' – Lakeland Chairman, Alo Duffy

Lana Fallon

Reporter:

Lana Fallon

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newsroom@longfordleader.ie

The entire Board of Lakeland Dairies has urged shareholders of the co-operative to turn out in large numbers to support the proposed merger of Lakeland and LacPatrick Dairies at a Special General Meeting of Lakeland Dairies which will be held at Hotel Kilmore in Cavan next Tuesday, October 23 at 1pm.

 “It’s essential for Lakeland shareholders to turn out to support this important merger resolution at the Special General Meeting. In doing so, shareholders will be taking part in a truly historic moment in shaping the future growth and success of their co-operative,” said Chairman Alo Duffy.

 “This merger proposal is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both co-operatives to continue their strong progress in a very meaningful way. By supporting the merger, shareholders will achieve a great good for co-operative dairy farming. The new Society will continue to be farmer owned and farmer controlled while paying a sustainable and competitive milk price in line with market conditions into the future. That is our absolute priority throughout this development.”

 Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick Dairies announced earlier this month that they had reached agreement to merge following the unanimous approval of the Boards of both co-operative societies who are both recommending the proposed merger to their respective shareholders. 

 “Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick both have a long standing heritage in co-operative dairy farming and processing and both are neighbouring societies operating across a broadly similar geographic region,” said Alo Duffy.

 “Each of the societies has invested in processing scale and state-of-the art-technology over the past decade and each serves their own specific group of customers throughout the world. Each makes a major economic contribution to rural development and the wellbeing of rural communities throughout their operating regions.

 “With 3,200 suppliers, the merged co-operatives will process over 1.8 billion litres of milk annually and will have annual revenues of over €1 Bn. The combined organisation will have substantial cashflow to underpin the development of the business. It will also create efficiencies across the organisation and its operations and this will enhance the value and return from of the merged societies for the benefit of all members.”

 “The business will have considerable potential to increase revenues and generate the cost savings necessary to ensure competitive market returns for dairy farmers in the future. The combined co-operative will be a competitive, international dairy food business. It will be owned and controlled by farmers and will be a platform to secure the future of our farmer members for generations to come. That is why we are strongly urging shareholders to come to Cavan on Tuesday, October 23 and to vote in favor of the merger proposal.”

The announcement earlier this month was made jointly by the Chairman of LacPatrick Dairies, Andrew McConkey and the Chairman of Lakeland Dairies, Alo Duffy, together with Michael Hanley, CEO of Lakeland Dairies who will be appointed Group CEO of the new merged co-operative society which will adopt the name of Lakeland Dairies.

Lakeland Dairies will hold its SGM in Cavan (Hotel Kilmore) and LacPatrick Dairies will hold its SGM in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, at 1pm on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Only shareholders can attend the meetings and vote.

 Both co-operatives have written to their respective shareholders with details of the merger and will also hold a series of information meetings in advance of the SGMs across several counties, north and south.  

 The Boards of both co-operative societies are unanimously recommending shareholders to vote in favor of the merger.