Financial advisors from Ernst & Young (EY) will begin evaluating proposals for LacPatrick from four parties in the running to buy the cross-border diary co-op, with movement on a sale expected within weeks.
Aurivo, Dale Farm, Glanbia and Lakeland have expressed interest in buying LacPatrick since it effectively put itself up for sale in April. EY has been engaged to manage the sale process, with progress expected over the coming month.
It is understood the sale process will see a LacPatrick board subcommittee of four, including chairmen Andrew McConkey and vice-chairman Robert Skelton and Keith Agnew, consider the offers once they have been assessed by EY.
Any proposals seen as viable will then be presented to the full board, and ultimately to farmer shareholders for approval.
Co-op members will have the final say, and any deal will need backing from 75pc of members.
If, as is likely, LacPatrick is consolidated by a rival co-op controlled dairy then the buyer’s members will also have to back a deal.
LacPatrick was formed from the merger of Town of Monaghan Dairy in the Republic and Ballyrashane Dairy in the North. It processes more than 600 million litres of milk from more than 1,000 farmers, roughly half on each side of the Border.
The business is headed by CEO Gabriel D’Arcy.