On 6 November 2014 Dairy Crest announced that it had agreed to sell the assets of its Dairies operations to Muller UK & Ireland Group LLP (“Müller”). The sale has already received the approval of Dairy Crest shareholders.
On 26 June 2015 the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced that there were reasonable grounds for believing that undertakings offered by Müller may address the CMA’s competition concerns.
In a notice posted on its website today the CMA has indicated that it proposes to accept Müller’s undertakings and has invited comments from third parties on its proposal to accept.
The CMA has also announced an extension of its deadline for consideration of the undertakings by the statutory 40 days from 21 August to 19 October although it has also said that it may reach a final decision before that date.
Dairy Crest continues to anticipate that the sale will complete before the end of 2015 should the CMA accept the undertakings.
Mark Allen, Chief Executive of Dairy Crest, commented:
“We have always believed the sale of our Dairies operations is good news for the whole UK dairy sector which is currently facing significant challenges arising from low dairy commodity returns. It will deliver economies of scale and cost efficiencies that will underpin investment and help the UK compete more successfully in global markets.
Today’s announcement that the CMA proposes to accept Müller’s undertakings is a positive step forward and the extended timetable still allows us to complete the sale in 2015.”