Tim Ørting Jørgensen, executive vide president for Arla, says the successful acquisition of Friesland Foods Fresh Nijkerk will allow the company to further boost its presence in fresh dairy production, particularly in Northern Europe.
Both the European Commission and the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) have this week given the go ahead for the deal, which will grant the group control of all production equipment and land associated with the division, as well as brands like Breaker, Milk&Fruit and Melkunie.
The deal is also expected to include a license to run over the next ten years relating to the use of the Friesche Vlag brand of product in the Netherlands.
“FrieslandCampina is guaranteeing the supply of raw milk to the factory in Nijkerk until 1 January 2017,” claims Arla Foods.
Last November, Arla announced a long-term strategy to double sales of whey protein products. This commitment was backed by a 100 per cent increase in Arla’s development budget to target growth areas such as health and product taste.
Brøgger said that the Friesland deal was inline with these long-term aims, granting the company a full range of dairy production operations across the EU.
Peter Tuborgh, Arla’s chief executive officer, said in March that the move could also open up a new core market for the company.
“It is in perfect alignment with our strategy to become the preferred dairy for consumers in Northern Europe,” he stated. “We will respect all the current employment terms and conditions and intend to continue the operations and employee base as it is today.”
Friesland says it was selling the Nijkerk operations as a condition of gaining clearance from European competition authorities to move ahead with its merger with Campina.