Arla puts factory assets up for auction

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The contents of Arla's former Essex factory are to be auctioned off
The contents of Arla's former Essex factory are to be auctioned off

Related tags: Milk, Cheese, Dairy, Arla

The contents of Arla’s former Essex dairy are set to go under auction, drawing interest from international buyers.

The site at Hatfield Peverel closed last year,​ following Arla’s decision to concentrate milk production at its Aylesbury facility in Buckinghamshire.

Industrial auctioneers CJM Asset Management have been instructed to dispose of hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of plant, machinery and equipment in the auction. The auction is to take place on Thursday February 23.

CJM said the site is to be cleared and redeveloped, so all of the assets had to be sold off.

‘Largest disposal of dairy assets’

Paul Cooper, CJM director, said: “It is one of the largest disposals of dairy assets in Britain for some years, so it was always likely to get everybody’s attention – and it has.

Arla assets to be auctioned

  • Bottling plant
  • Refrigeration equipment
  • Silos
  • Tanks
  • Office furnishing
  • A life-size plastic cow

“A number of interested parties have already had private viewings, including major dairy industry players based in Scotland and Wales.”

Cooper said there had been interest from foreign buyers and he had received enquiries from Europe, Turkey and New Zealand.

The auction includes all the site’s machinery and equipment, as well as the bottling plant, refrigeration equipment and a large number of silos and tanks. The contents of the engineering workshop, the stores, the canteen and the offices will also be auctioned.

‘Star lots are the filling lines’

“The star lots are the filling lines. A full filling line – from bottle sorting at the start to packing at the end – is expected to make £50,000–£100,00.”​ added Cooper.

The full catalogue for the auction can be viewed here.​ Viewing is planned for Tuesday February 21 between 10am and 4pm and Wednesday February 22 between 9am and 4pm. The online auction closes at 12pm on Thursday February 23.

A bottling machine up for auction
A bottling machine up for auction

Meanwhile, Sandwich manufacturer S&L Catering is to have its assets sold at auction​, after the company ceased trading on February 2.

The company has entered insolvency, with Walker Singleton Chartered Surveyors handling the sale. The auction will be held on February 17.

Arla cheese off supermarket shelves

Arla’s Anchor Cheddar cheese is set to disappear from supermarket shelves, after Asda announced plans to remove the brand from its stores.

An Asda spokeswoman confirmed that the retailer was to sell off all its remaining stock of the cheese.

However, production of the cheese will continue, as its manufacturer Arla said it still performed strongly in convenience stores.

An Arla spokesman said: “Anchor Cheddar has a role to play for Arla. It performs strongly in the convenience channel. So our strategy is to use the brand to take advantage of future growth in convenience and ensuring consumers can choose a brand they trust. 

“Arla continues to perform strongly and lead in the cheese category in both own-label and branded. Recent additions to the Arla brand portfolio include Arla quark and Arla protein cottage cheese.”

The dairy co-operative said its cheese production had been boosted by its Castello Tickler Cheddar, which saw an 18% rise in sales last year.

Related topics: Dairy

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