A Tyneside-based dairy company has been bought for £75m.
DFB Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Smith celebrates the acquisition
The Co-operative Group, which owned the Associated Co-operative Creameries, based at Blaydon, has sold the company to Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFB).
The ACC, formed in 1972, has seven milk-processing sites across England and Wales and 60 distribution centres.
New owners DFB milk co-operative is owned by 3,250 dairy farmers. The buy-out has eased fears over job losses and was welcomed by unions.
'Anxiety and uncertainty'
DFB has milk-processing sites at Blaydon, Whitby in North Yorkshire, Llandyrnog in North Wales, Fole in Staffordshire, Llangadog in South Wales, Cardiff and Portsmouth.
The announcement earlier this year that the Manchester-based Co-operative Group was putting ACC up for sale sparked job fears among workers.
Malcolm Smith, Chief Executive Officer of DFB said, the purchase marked an historic day for everyone concerned.
He said: "The acquisition marks a huge step towards fulfilling our ambitions growth plans. We welcome ACC and look forward to working with our new colleagues."
DFB currently has 800,000 doorstep customers in the UK and handles around six million litres of raw milk every day.
Trade union Usdaw, which has more than 1,000 members who work for ACC, also welcomed the purchase.
National officer Sharon Ainsworth said: "There has been a great deal of anxiety among ACC workers for many months.
"Our members have been patient throughout the process and today's announcement brings an end to the uncertainty."