Company boss - takeover rumours are not true

THE man behind dairy business Yeo Valley has moved to scotch rumours that the company could be the subject of a takeover bid by a foreign company.

Following recent foreign buy-outs of other UK dairy firms, rumours had circulated that the Blagdon-based company could be next in line.

But firm managing director Tim Mead has said that although he has been approached about a takeover, he is committed to keeping the company in North Somerset.

Speaking to the Mercury, he said: “There is no truth to these rumours. Although it’s flattering that I have in the past been approached by businesses who are interested in opening negotiations, I have absolutely no intention of selling Yeo Valley to another company – either inside or outside of the UK.

“To sell our business would be a betrayal to our staff, our suppliers, our customers and – most importantly – the consumers who buy our products.”

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The firm was set up by Mr Mead’s parents Mary and Roger in 1961, and has recently been launched into the national consciousness through a series of high-profile television adverts featuring characters such as the rapping farmers.

There have already been two major deals involving UK dairy companies this year – Robert Wiseman Dairies was taken over by the German Theo Muller group while Milk Link has merged with Norway-based Arla Foods.

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But saying his company was ‘100 per cent committed’ to keeping the business in North Somerset, Mr Mead continued: “My family have been farming here for more than 500 years and I have no reason to move the business whatsoever.

“Apart from the climate and fertile soil which benefit our herd of British Friesian cows, North Somerset is a beautiful place to live and work for our staff.

“And with the M5 and M4 close by, we’ve a great transport infrastructure which connects us to the north, south, east and west.”

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