Dairy Farmers GB steps up comms

Milk, cream, cheese and yoghurt co-operative Dairy Farmers of Great Britain is ramping up its financial comms in anticipation of further acquisitions.

The co-operative has taken on board Financial Dynamics as its first retained financial PR adviser following its acquisition of Associated Co-operative Creameries (ACC) to create the UK’s largest integrated dairy company.

FD managing director Jonathon Brill is leading the account and reports to Dairy Farmers CEO Malcom Smith and head of comms Philip Gibson.

The appointment of FD follows on from its project brief to handle financial comms around the acquisition of ACC from The Cooperative Group in August.

The nature of Dairy Farmers’ corporate structure made the acquisition and will also make future acquisitions unusually complicated because of the use of co-operative members’ payments as collateral against which to finance a deal.

Each of Dairy Farmers 300,000 members pay around 1p per litre of milk that they sell. It is against these combined payments that debt is raised in the City to fund a takeover.

The acquisition of ACC moved Dairy Farmers from a producers group into a producers and wholesalers cooperative with several local brands, including Alive yoghurt and Welsh cheese Cadog.

In the year to 31 March 2004 Dairy Farmers had a turnover of £436m and an operating profit of £12.2m.

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