Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick Dairies have welcomed regulatory approval for the merger of both Societies.
The approval was received today from the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) in the UK and from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in Ireland.
Both authorities determined and ruled that competition would not be adversely affected as a result of the merger and both cleared the transaction unconditionally.
The clearance was the last significant hurdle for the merger to go ahead.
The new society, which will be called Lakeland Dairies Co-Operative Society Limited, will be the second largest dairy processor on the island of Ireland with a cross-border milk pool of 1.8 billion litres, produced by 3,200 farms from 15 countries.
The new co-op will have a combined annual turnover in excess of €1bn, creating internationally competitive scale while ensuring efficient costs of operation.
The new Society will begin trading at the end of March and until then will operate independently with each setting its own milk price.
Michael Hanley, CEO Designate of the new Lakeland Dairies, said: "We’re very pleased to have reached the conclusion of this process which is now a starting point for future significant progress.
"We are energised and ambitious to create strategic advantages in an intensely competitive market environment where we intend to ensure the best possible realisation of the benefits of this merger for our members and for all of our customers around the world."