Unigate FD John Worby must be feeling mightily relieved. Not only has the Office of Fair Trading applied pressure on his main supplier, Milk Marque, which could bring down the price of the company’s main raw material, but Worby has finally managed to extricate the group from one of its more bizarre diversifications, into US restaurants.
It probably seemed sensible in the 1980s to add chains of franchised US restaurants to a UK milk business, but probably not for long. And like most such acquisitions, it was a case of “marry in haste, repent at leisure”. The leisure of trying to sell these businesses has lasted for years. Now it’s goodbye to the Black-eyed Pea and Taco Bueno restaurants, and hello to a more mundane but more sensible Unigate.