Express Dairies will own 49% of Arla Foods UK the new company formed by its £150m merger with the UK arm of Scandinavian dairy group Arla Foods.

Group MD Jens Bigum said Arla’s focus was centred around customers and consumers “and entails plans for growth, underpinned by continuous large investments in the group's marketing and manufacturing platform”.

The Scandinavian group expanded its cheese operations in the UK last November when it bought speciality cheese group HT Webb.

Last year Arla and Express courted as the UK processor looked to address the changing dynamics of the milk industry, as supermarkets put pressure on its traditional doorstep deliveries and there was an oversupply of milk.

The new company - Arla Foods UK - will now supply around 2.4 billion litres of raw milk each year with a 44% share of all supermarket deliveries.