First Milk Completes £130M Banking Deal

Barclays and Lloyds provide 'joint-lead' finance package

First Milk, the UK's largest dairy farmer co-operative, has completed a £130m deal with Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance and Barclays Commercial Bank, to refinance its banking facilities.

Jim Maguire, First Milk's finance director commented: "The finance package put together by Barclays and Lloyds provides us with a more flexible approach to our lending and ensures that, as the volumes and price of the milk that we produce grow, the banking facility grows too. Importantly it provides us with an additional £30m of funding compared with our previous facility, which we will use to develop our business."

Allan Ramsay, director of structured asset based lending for Barclays Asset & Sales Finance in Scotland, added: "Working alongside First Milk's management, we have delivered a robust financial package to support their long term growth ambitions. The deal is a great example of Barclays Commercial Bank's continued strong appetite to provide funding to quality businesses."

Nick Robson, regional director at Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, commented, " A combined approach including core banking facilities from HBoS has enabled First Milk to secure bespoke funding that meets its progressive strategy.

"The ability to finance using a facility linked directly to the value of the debtors and inventory is very attractive to businesses like First Milk, as it enables the firm to borrow against its existing assets to free up cash flow required to execute its growth strategy."

The 3-year deal was completed on 27 August 2009 and in total covers £130 million of banking facilities.

Notes to editors

First Milk is the largest dairy farmer co-operative in the UK. Its members' farms stretch from Central Scotland to the South of England, and from West Wales to East Anglia. Its milk division handles 1.7 billion litres of milk per annum and its cheese company is the largest UK-based cheddar supplier. First Milk also supplies a range of customers with innovative products through our ingredients business.

Contact for further information

Paul Flanagan, First Milk, or 07767 241452

Emily Hargreaves, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance,

Natasha Lobley, Barclays Commercial Bank, or 07974 688501


31 August 2009