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FrieslandCampina eyes speciality cheese growth through Dutch acquisition

By Mark Astley , 09-Jan-2013
Last updated on 09-Jan-2013 at 13:10 GMT

FrieslandCampina has entered into an agreement MYWO Food Group to acquire Dutch speciality cheese manufacturer Zijerveld and its packaging business unit, Den Hollander Food.

Through the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, Netherlands-based FrieslandCampina hopes to expand its current cheese offering and provide its customers with a “more comprehensive” product portfolio.

Bodegraven-based cheese specialist Zijerveld employs around 300 people, and operates its own cheese ripening warehouses, and packaging and logistics facilities.

Its packaging business, Den Hollander Food has thirteen packaging lines and three grated cheese lines – employing around 140 people in total.

The firms will, however, continue to operate independently and retain their own identity if the acquisition is completed, FrieslandCampina added.

Speciality cheese market access

According to the company, the deal emphasises its ambitions to expand its added value cheese offering.

If the deal is completed, FrieslandCampina will add Zijerveld’s Protected Destination of Origin (PDO) North Holland cheese and farmhouse cheese ranges to its already bulging cheese product portfolio.

FrieslandCampina spokesperson Jan Willem ter Avest told DairyReporter.com that the firm believes these speciality cheeses could also have export potential.

“This acquisition adds several things to our company,” said ter Avest.

“One of the most important things is improved routes to market through speciality cheese shops. Zijerveld has an existing position there. There are also opportunities here for speciality cheese exports as well.”

“But most importantly, this acquisition will strengthen our position in the current cheese market.”

The spokesperson added that the firm also hopes to gain from Zijerveld’s existing “tailored” logistics services.

“Another good thing is their strong customer intimacy – their tailored logistics service. This is something we hope to add to our existing service.”

“In effect we are buying two companies,” said ter Avest.

€400m cheese revenue boost

Ter Avest declined, however, to disclose how much the acquisition will cost FrieslandCampina.

“We are not disclosing information on that. What is important here is that together these businesses make €400m in revenue per year.”

“That means that our cheese activities grow from €1.2bn to €1.6bn,” ter Avest added.

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