On the morning of 17 January, Dave Chapman of TCDS is told, in a conversation with Tom Atherton, that they had received another offer, but that he could not disclose the amount of the offer, nor their identity, so as to protect client confidentiality. Dave Chapman then writes to Tom Atherton to remind him that TCDS’s offer is for £460,000 now, and an overage agreement worth, at that time, £4,999,500.

Later that day, Eversheds Solicitors notify TCDS that Saputo (Dairy) UK has exchanged contracts with another party (Fastglobe (Mastics) Ltd) in one line: “I understand our clients have spoken this morning and our client has confirmed that they have decided to proceed with the second purchaser”.