The management team at Robert Wiseman Dairies is evaluating the Unigate business currently under offer by Dairy Crest. Having made a £225m conditional bid, Wiseman will either make a full bid or withdraw once its evaluation has been completed. Until then, Unigate has confirmed it is proceeding with the Dairy Crest offer for its liquid milk and cheese business, which includes seven factories. Unigate says it is bound by the terms of the Dairy Crest offer, but will be obliged to consider any counter bid by Wiseman in the interests of its shareholders. The transaction with Dairy Crest is still subject to shareholder approval and could be derailed by a significant bid from Wiseman. Wiseman is better known for producing liquid milk but the prospect of adding cheese and butter to its business may not be such a fundamental change. The business is built on own label liquid milk, so it could add own label dairy products from a proven sales and marketing team. The sale is part of Unigate's £79m restructuring that includes the closure of its St Ivel fresh food business at Chichester and pig processing operations at Enniskillen and Ahoghill by Malton Foods. (The Grocer, January 29, p9 and March 11 p29). {{NEWS }}