23 July 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Michael Fisher

Town of Monaghan Co-Op is to enter a new era in September following the virtually unanimous approval on Tuesday of its merger with the Ballyrashane Co-Op in North Antrim. The new company to be known as LacPatrick is said to be a platform for growth, against a backdrop of a challenging global market. It is described by the two elements as a ‘game-changing’ merger, which includes plans for further significant new investment later this year at Artigarvan near Strabane as a critical part of the new Co-op’s growth strategy.

The name LacPatrick reflects the size and scale of the new operation and its strong global ambitions to grow the business in Ireland and beyond. The new entity 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 Mr Kemps appointed as Deputy Chief Executive. Monaghan will continue to be a headquarters for the new entity and it will also be the site for research and development.

Tuesday’s meeting in Monaghan was attended by around 200 shareholders/suppliers and 93% of them voted in favour, slightly more than had endorsed the plan at the first special meeting at the start of this month. In Ballyrashane the vote was 100% in favour.

Gabriel D’Arcy told the Northern Standard he was delighted with the strong confirmatory vote from both sets of shareholders, and the decision for the two companies to come 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”, he said.

“Our shared geography and production facilities, technologies and customer listings, together with the combined …


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