Ballyrashane and Town of Monaghan co-ops confirm formal merger talks

Standing (left) is Gabriel D'Arcy (Chief Executive Town of Monaghan Co-op) with Nigel Kemps (Chief'Executive Ballyrashane Co-op), with (seated left); Hugo Maguire (Chairman, Town of Monaghan Coop) and (right) Roy Irwin (Chairman, Ballyrashane Co-op)'''''�Brian Thompson Photography
Standing (left) is Gabriel D'Arcy (Chief Executive Town of Monaghan Co-op) with Nigel Kemps (Chief'Executive Ballyrashane Co-op), with (seated left); Hugo Maguire (Chairman, Town of Monaghan Coop) and (right) Roy Irwin (Chairman, Ballyrashane Co-op)'''''�Brian Thompson Photography
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Two of Ireland’s oldest dairies - Ballyrashane Co-op and Town of Monaghan Co-op - confirmed their Boards of Directors have agreed to enter formal discussions with a view to exploring the merits of merging.

A joint statement from the two co-operatives highlighted the benefits of a new combined entity saying it would create a “powerful new force in the Ulster Dairy sector with the scale and ambition to win in the increasingly challenging and competitive marketplace.”

Town of Monaghan Chief Executive, Gabriel D’Arcy added: “Our complementary geography and production facilities, technologies, customer listings together with the combined balance sheet strength offers the unique opportunity to create a true leader in the Ulster dairy food sector focused on innovation and competitiveness. This potential for clear and endurable market leadership will ensure that the new merged entity will continue to make competitive and sustainable returns to our members, the dairy farmers of Ulster.”

His Ballyrashane counterpart, Nigel Kemps said: “Both co-operatives have similar ethos values and culture and we have entered these discussions with the best interests of our suppliers and shareholders to the fore while also being cognisant of the strong potential benefits to our suppliers, staff and customers. We believe this a potentially powerful partnership that will enable both co-ops to achieve more together than we could on our own.”

Town of Monaghan Co-Op, which was established in 1901 and employs 150 people is a farmer owned co-operative with a turnover of approximately €250m. It has approximately 950 farmers supplying 460 million litres annually. The milk is processed at Coolshannagh, Monaghan and at TMC Dairies (NI) Ltd in Artigavan, Co. Tyrone. Yogurt, liquid milk, cream, butter, bulk skim milk and bulk evaporated skim milk are produced at its Monaghan HQ site with spray dried, whole milk and skim milk dairy powders being produced at Artigarvin.

Ballyrashane Co-op’s main site is located close to the world famous Giant’s Causeway on the North Antrim Coast. Renowned for its innovation the company has, in recent years, expanded to its current position as a leading dairy supplier within the global market boasting a wide portfolio of products and employing approximately 150 staff. Ballyrashane remains true to its roots as an independent co-operative still owned by local farmers and which contributes financially, socially and environmentally to the local rural community. Ballyrashane has an annual turnover of approximately £80m and buys 100m litres of milk from around 100 local farmers.