Dutch dairy group Campina has announced the acquisition of Molkerei H. Strothmann, a German company specialising in desserts, yoghurts and dairy drinks, in a move designed to strengthen its position in one of Europe's biggest dairy markets.
Campina has been discussing possible ventures with Strothmann for some time, as we reported earlier this year, and an acquisition by the Dutch group had always been one of the most likely outcomes.
Campina declined to say how much it had paid for Strothmann, which in 2001 generated turnover of around €120 million.
While Campina operations across Europe will be boosted by the takeover, the most attractive part of the Strothmann deal is the latter company's strong position in the German market, where it sells most of its output.
Campina is already among the top three players on the German dairy market, with its brands Landliebe and Campina. It is the number one in the dessert market in Germany - the largest consumer market in Europe - with a share of 19 per cent. The acquisition of Strothmann, which will increase its market share to 22 per cent, is clear evidence of Campina's determination to continue pursuing its growth strategy.
Dairy desserts and drinks are two key areas of growth in the European market pinpointed by Campina, and the company said it would continue to look for other acquisitions to help it achieve these goals. It will also continue to focus its product development in these areas.
The company is also growing its position in the industrial products sector, where it already operates through ingredients company DMV International.
"I am pleased that we can now integrate Molkerei Strothmann into our organisation," said Tiny Sanders, chairman of the executive board of Campina. "The acquisition fits in very well with our growth strategy and our target of above-average growth in the dessert market in Europe.
"Strothmann is a well known company in Germany and the company has successfully launched a number of innovative products in recent years. The acquisition will further reinforce the strong position which Campina already holds in Germany with its Landliebe and Campina brands. I expect that this new acquisition will create new opportunities for us to grow our market share."