Arla merger cancelled as CEO resigns

(AFP) A merger between Danish-Swedish group Arla Foods, Europe's leading dairy company in terms of volume, and Dutch group Campina, has been called off, Arla announced on Thursday.

The merger, which was announced in December, would have created one of the world’s largest cooperative dairy groups. The two groups were however not able to agree on Campina’s real capital value, Arla said. The boards of both companies concluded that definitive merger proposals cannot be put to the members’s councils of the two cooperatives.

The merged group would have had a turnover of about 10 billion euros (13.3 billion dollars), employ some 28,000 people and be owned by about 21,000 member-farmers, Arla said at the time of the merger announcement in December.

Meanwhile, Åke Modig has announced his resignation as CEO of Arla Foods. The Swede has been with the company for thirty years.

“We respect Mr. Modig’s constructive contributions to our merger talks. One of the initiators of the envisaged merger is now leaving. Also because of this, there is no basis for further discussions at the moment,” the CEO of Campina, Justinus Sanders said.