Switzerland's Emmi Group has announced that it has taken over the Ostermundigen operations of the former Swiss Dairy Food (SDF) at the beginning of the year.
The sale price was not revealed, but the company did state that it would continue to employee 400 of the staff, primarily from the production division.
The Ostermundigen facility produces high value milk product specialities, such as yoghurt, ice cream, muesli and fromage frais, generating approximately CHF 180 million (€123m) in sales to retailers. The acquisition is said to increases Emmi's sales in the fresh dairy products branch to nearly CHF 500 million, raising estimated Group sales to CHF 1,850 billion for 2003.
A company statement said: "With this takeover, Emmi significantly boosts the number-one strategy of its fresh dairy products branch, in particular leading the yoghurt business. The specialities from Ostermundigen complement the product range ideally, with the Emmi brand maintained as a clear leader. The Toni brand is also integral to the sales contract and will continue to be marketed. For Emmi, the Ostermundigen location represents a very high gain in synergy, since its acquisition removes the need to invest approx. CHF 50 million in expansion in Emmen. The time factor is also decisive, with Ostermundigen offering immediate capacity for fast growth to supply, for example, greatly increased exports of fresh dairy products to Germany. In addition, this takeover allows Emmi to enter the ice-cream business for the Unilever and Coop companies."