The Competition Authority has, this morning, approved the Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL) purchase of Wexford Creamery from Wexford Milk Producers (WMP) co-op.

The decision has been welcomed by GIIL Chief Executive Jim Bergin. He said the decision allows GIIL to actively engage with Wexford suppliers and with management and staff of Wexford Creamery with the aim of finalising all aspects of the purchase as soon as possible.

“The agreement with WMP represents a significant development in the consolidation of the dairy industry in the South East and gives long-term security to milk suppliers and to the Wexford milk processing plant,” added Jim Bergin.

In early March, the Competition Authority decided to carry out a full investigation in relation to the proposed transaction whereby Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited would acquire the entire issued share capital of Wexford Creamery Limited from Wexford Milk Producers Limited.

Following a preliminary investigation, the Competition Authority was unable to conclude that the acquisition will not substantially lessen competition in markets for goods or services in the State without carrying out a full investigation

In early December, following a special general meeting of Wexford Milk Producers (WMP), the shareholders approved the sale of Wexford Creamery Ltd to Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited (GIIL). This morning’s decision by the Competition Authority paves the way for the transition to be completed.

Commenting on the decision, Marty Murphy, Chairman of Wexford Milk Producers, said; “I welcome the Competition Authority’s approval of the deal and we can now proceed to complete the transaction with GIIL in the coming weeks.

Mr Murphy continued; “GIIL is a farmer controlled dairy business with market leading innovation and technology and global reach. The GIIL deal brings the investment and scale to Wexford Creamery that is necessary and that would not have been possible for us on a stand-alone basis. Very importantly, our own Society (WMP) will continue as an active Co-op and will be there to represent members and their interests for many years, as we move into the post quota era and the opportunity for milk expansion which this will involve”.

He thanked all suppliers and stakeholders for their support over the last few months in putting a deal together which is good for dairy farming in Wexford.