A McLelland, the supplier of major Cheddar brand Seriously Strong, together with farmer-owned dairy business First Milk have announced McLelland’s intended acquisition of a major shareholding in Aeron Valley Cheese in South Wales.

The Glasgow-based company is finalising the deal to purchase the 50% shareholding in Aeron Valley held by Irish co-operative Dairygold, and also a further 30% from First Milk. First Milk will retain a 20% shareholding, with McLelland assuming management responsibility for the facility, which is capable of producing 10,000 tonnes of cheese per annum.

The proposed new ownership structure mirrors the model in place elsewhere within the McLelland Group, ensuring part ownership for dairy producers. Joint MD Alastair Irvine said “Aeron Valley has a heritage of producing high quality, premium Welsh cheddar and the creamery has enjoyed considerable investment over recent years. We firmly believe it will make an excellent addition to the group.”

John O'Sullivan, director of Dairygold UK, said: “This proposed agreement represents a good deal for both Dairygold and Aeron Valley with McLelland using it as a platform to grow its UK business. All technical and operational staff will remain with Aeron Valley while all sales and admin staff will transfer to Dairygold.”