Swiss Dairy Food, which went into receivership in September, has signed an agreement with compatriot company Laiteries Reunies Geneve (LRG) which will keep SDF's Ostermundigen dairy open and its Service Fraicheur unit in business.
When the company was placed under the jurisdiction of the courts earlier in September, SDF said it would proceed with the sale of its most profitable businesses in order to pay off its debts while at the same time attempting to preserve as many jobs as possible.
With this in mind, the agreement with LRG will see the latter group take over the running of the Ostermundigen dairy from 1 January 2003. The deal also includes the rights to a range of nearly 300 speciality dairy products sold under SDF's Toni brand, as well as the 250-strong ice cream portfolio and the Service Fraicheur business in Zurich and Lausanne.
The agreement is still subject to approval by SDF's creditors, the receivers and the court, but the company foresees no objections.
SDF said in a statement that it was delighted that LRG had agreed to take on the business, as it meant that jobs at the dairy would be maintained in the long term, as well as guaranteeing a production of the Toni brand speciality dairy products and ice cream produced by the Ostermundigen plant.