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Owners of Arla Foods and Walhorn Agree to Merger

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Owners of Arla Foods and Walhorn Agree to Merger

Owners of Arla Foods and Walhorn Agree to Merger
May 15
12:58 2014

The merger between Arla Foods and EGM Walhorn has now been approved by the co-operative owners in both companies. The merger will add more dairy farmers to Arla Foods in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Owner-elected representatives from Arla Foods and EGM Walhorn have agreed to the merger of the two co-operatives. The decision comes one and a half months after the two cooperatives’ board of directors presented a merger proposal which has since been debated in the two owner groups.

“We are delighted to welcome the new dairy farmers to our group of owners. Arla is a bigger business than Walhorn, but we have exactly the same desire to be part of a cooperative that enables us to grow and develop our farms. Some of Walhorn’s owners are already neighbours of Arla farmers, so in every way it feels like a natural step to merge with our colleagues at Walhorn,” says Ake Hantoft, chairman of Arla Foods.

Following the merger, Arla Foods will have 13,500 co-operative members. For the first time, Arla Foods will have members in the Netherlands, resulting in the dairy group having owners in seven different northern European countries.

Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods, comments: “We see this merger as a vote of confidence on the part of Walhorn’s dairy farmers and we are convinced that the merger will lead to a mutually beneficial partnership. At Arla, we have made a point in recent years of informing our members that they are the very core of Arla’s business foundation and that we are ready to buy all the milk they are able to produce – also when European milk quotas disappear. This message has been warmly received by Walhorn’s owners.”

The merger will impact Arla’s access to raw milk in Germany and Belgium for the dairies in Pronsfeld, Germanyand Nijkerk in the Netherlands. The merger, which must now be approved by the national competition authorities, is expected to go ahead in the summer.

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