Ballyrashane Co-op and Town of Monaghan Co-op confirmed this week the completion of what has been described as a ‘game-changing’ merger with plans for further significant new investment as a critical part of the new Co-op’s growth strategy.
The newly merged company will be called LacPatrick to reflect its size and scale, and its strong global ambitions to grow the business in Ireland and beyond.
LacPatrick will be led by a new board of directors comprising the former two boards, with a new management team headed up by Gabriel D’Arcy and Nigel Kemps - former CEOs of Town of Monaghan Co-op and Ballyrashane Co-op respectively. Mr D’Arcy will be the new chief executive, with Nigel Kemps appointed as deputy chief executive.
LacPatrick will officially commence trading on 1 September 2015.
Mr D’Arcy said: “I am delighted with the strong confirmatory vote from both sets of shareholders, and that our companies are coming together to become a powerful new force in the Ulster dairy sector. We now have the scale and ambition to win in what is currently a very challenging and competitive marketplace. Given the volatility of global dairy markets, this merger further underlines the importance and significance of this ambitious move by our two companies.
“Our shared geography and production facilities, technologies and customer listings, together with the combined balance sheet strength, offers a 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. This merger is a platform for future growth for all associated with LacPatrick and, we look forward to making further announcements in the weeks and months ahead regarding future investment.”
Mr Kemps added: “This merger is particularly necessary when we look at the state of the market and especially the poor returns paid to producers. The size and scale that we now have as a merged entity will ensure we can be more competitive, and achieve better returns. Our aim is to give dairy farmers in the north of the island confidence to grow their own businesses and herds.
“LacPatrick as a combined entity can achieve scale and volumes, delivering more than the two separate companies could have done on their own,” he added.
The name LacPatrick has been chosen to reflect the core ethos of the newly merged Co-op, which is to bring its innovative and excellent dairy products to consumers at home and internationally.
Lac, which is Latin for milk, and Patrick, which is synonymous with the island of Ireland, combine to create a name which underpins the newly birthed co-op’s rich heritage, but also speaks of its ambitions to grow and develop.
Its strap-line ‘Dairy By Ireland Since 1896’ is a clear statement of its longevity in its markets and communities and defines the solidity of the new entity.
The new name will be used to market the company on the global milk market, appearing on tankers in conjunction with the individual consumer brands of the two former co-ops.