Greencore sells troubled desserts business to Müller Dairy

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minsterley, The sale

Chilled foods group Greencore has announced the sale of its troubled Minsterley desserts business to Müller Dairy.

The sale, for £4.3M plus stock, is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2013. It comes after Minsterley's former owner Uniq which Greencore acquired last year for £113M had tried for many years to turn around the fortunes of the facility.

The acquisition makes obvious business logic for Müller also based in Shropshire since the Minsterley site makes Cadbury branded desserts for the dairy company under contract. It also gives Müller the space and ability to expand into new areas of production such as own-label desserts.

Analysts and other industry commentators frequently questioned the viability of the Minsterley facility under Uniq's ownership.

Prior to its acquisition by Greencore, Uniq had announced its intention to halt production of loss-making everyday desserts at Minsterley and transfer its premium desserts business to its Evercreech plant in Somerset. This left Minsterley a comparably large facility, but one requiring some substantial investment to bring it up to the latest standards with just the contract manufacture of Cadbury desserts for Müller, something which again put its viability in doubt.

Former potential purchasers of Uniq thought the facility was in desperate need of reinvestment. Under Müller's ownership, workers at the factory have now been thrown a new lifeline.

Related topics: Dairy

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