The Franklin Foods acquisition follows the establishment of Hochland’s US sales organization, Bergland Cheese USA LLC, in 2014, and marks a strategic step by Hochland into the US market.
Peter Stahl, CEO of Hochland SE, said Franklin’s strong market position, nationwide distribution and two production plants offer Hochland a platform for the implementation of its own brands and products into the US.
Franklin Foods was established in 1899 in Vermont, as Hahn’s Cheese Company.
The third largest cream cheese producer in the US, Franklin sells its own brands including Greek Cream Cheese, Green Mountain Farms and Hahn’s, and private label products to food service companies and retailers.
Franklin Foods’ manufacturing facilities are in Casa Grande, Arizona, and Enosburg Falls, Vermont, with corporate offices in Delray Beach, Florida.
The company serves every food industry segment, conducts business throughout the US and international markets, and employs more than 220 people.
Hochland SE, formed in 1927, works exclusively on the production, refinement and sales of cheese. The company has 10 production sites with a workforce of more than 4,200.
In 2016, Hochland, one of the largest manufacturers and refiners of cheese in Europe, generated a turnover of roughly €1.2bn.
The company supplies all major cheese varieties to national and international markets, and is sold in more than 30 countries.
In Poland, Romania and Russia Hochland is the market leader in processed cheese and cream cheese. The company also supplies the food industry and catering sector.
Business as usual
Jon Gutknecht, current partner, president and CEO of Franklin Foods will continue to lead Franklin and maintain an interest in the new venture.
Franklin Foods will continue to operate independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hochland, SE.
The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.