Arla Foods amba today (5 April) completed the purchase of the remaining shares of its subsidiary Arla Foods UK, which has subsequently been delisted from the London stock exchange.

Since the 2003 merger between Arla and Express Dairies, Arla has held a 51% stake in Arla UK. The Dutch group acquired the remaining 49% at a purchase price of GBP0.71 (US$1.4) per share, which values the remaining shares at DKK2.4bn, the company said.

"I'm delighted and relieved that the long process, which started in October 2006, is now concluded. It feels good to know that we can now begin to integrate our very large UK business into the rest of Arla Foods. It will be easier for our global range to access the UK market, and for the UK company and its staff to interact better with the Arla Group and influence the entire group's strategic development," said Arla Foods' CEO Peder Tuborgh.

"The UK is our largest single market with proud and strong brands like Lurpak and Cravendale, and we have the opportunity to develop strong market positions," Tuborgh continued. "We've had very successful exports to the UK over the past few years, and we've taken this step because we see great potential in the export, in the local production, and in maintaining close relations to the British milk farmers."

The UK subsidiary is now a part of Arla Foods' Consumer Group UK, which will work with the executive board of Arla Foods amba to integrate the group into the company.