A NORTH East dairy which supplies scores of shops, dairymen, supermarkets, cafes, and ready-meal manufacturers throughout the north is under new ownership.
The entire shareholding of Lanchester Dairies Ltd, Lanchester, Co Durham, has been acquired by two of its four joint founders in a deal backed by Yorkshire Bank’s Newcastle Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) as part of its Investing for Growth initiative.
Company secretary and director, husband and wife, Billy and Julie Austin, are now sole shareholders after buying out their co-directors, Billy Austin’s brother, Geoff, and his wife, Sandra, with whom they founded the business in 1992.
The family business, which buys and processes milk from local farmers between Durham and the Tyne Valley and delivers to a wide range of customers from Morpeth to Leeds and Newcastle to Cumbria, as well as being the local hub for supermarket giant Asda, has 64 staff and a £14m turnover.
Lanchester Dairies Ltd director, Julie Austin, says: “If we had not secured the Yorkshire Bank backing, we would not have been able to acquire the shares and maintain the Lanchester Dairies brand.
“Our plan now is to continue to grow the company by concentrating on the quality of our milk and high standards of service. We aim to do this by winning more corporate business although, as a family enterprise, we will never lose sight of the small shops and milkmen with their daily doorstep deliveries who have remained so important to us for the last 19 years.
“It was very important to us to be able to acquire the business to secure the future of our children Sarah and Christopher Austin who have both joined the business after completing their education and hopefully the generations which may follow them. We’re pleased to have gained backing from Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC and look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC business partner, David Allenson, says: “Lanchester Dairies’ attention to quality in all they do during the last 19 years has helped them build up a highly-regarded company which has retained its family ethos and attention to detail as it has grown. Yorkshire Bank is pleased to have helped Billy and Julie Austin acquire the business through our Investing for Growth initiative and look forward to supporting them as the enterprise goes from strength to strength.”
Billy and Julie Austin were advised by corporate finance director, Tony Edwards and corporate finance executive, Les Jackson, of accountants and business advisors, RSM Tenon, Sunderland with legal advice provided by Dickinson Dees’ Newcastle director, Peter Clark. Matt Collen, a partner at Sintons Solicitors, Newcastle, acted for the sellers.
Tony Edwards says: "We are delighted to have advised on this deal involving a such a long established and successful family business and were impressed by the commitment and team spirit shown by everyone in making this deal happen."
Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative also enables businesses to take loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms to support quality growth opportunities. Businesses taking up the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.
Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC is part of Yorkshire Bank’s North East Team which also includes Tees Valley FSC, Stockton, and comprises 70 staff working in multi-discipline teams encompassing corporate banking, private wealth management, treasury services and credit and operates a traditional method of banking with funding from deposits used to support investments in the local community.