The Irish Dairy Board has signalled a new refinancing deal could allow the co-operative to make acquisitions.

The co-op said today (26 March) a five-year syndicated bank facility of EUR420m (US$579.4m) would replace existing three-year financing worth EUR350m.

It said the deal gave it “significant funds to meet domestic and international growth requirements” ahead of the end of EU milk quotas in 2015.

Donal Buggy, the IDB’s finance director, said the agreement would give the co-op more flexibility and added: “It also gives us the opportunity to make further acquisitions or other strategic investments on our journey to providing routes to market and superior returns for Irish dairy farmers.” 

Officials at the IDB could not be reached for further comment.

In recent months, the IDB’s projects to expand the business have included plans for a cheese manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia.

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How will the food industry fare in 2014? We asked food professionals their thoughts on issues including consumer confidence, M&A and NPD. Join just-food editor Dean Best, former IRI/PwC economist Rod Street and Palatine Private Equity’s Charlotte Ashton in our annual bellwether webinar on Friday 28 March. Register here.