Parmalat set to acquire regional Italian dairy Latterie Friulane

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Parmalat set to acquire regional Italian dairy Latterie Friulane
Parmalat has agreed to acquire Consorzio Cooperativo Latterie Friulane for around €11.5m (US$13.7m) in the hope of reversing the regional Italian dairy's recent downturn.

Collecchio-based Parmalat announced last week it had signed a deal to purchase the production, sales and distribution operations of Latterie Friulane, which produces pasteurized and UHT milk, yogurt, mozzarella, ricotta, Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)-registered Montasio cheese.

Through the transaction, which is subject to Italian Antitrust Authority approval, Parmalat will absorb existing contracts, a production facility and offices in Campoformido, and buildings in Pone Crepaldo, San Martino, and Monfalcone. 

The announcement follows a difficult year for Latterie Friulane.

It is expected to report revenue of around €37m (US$44.2m) for 2014 - down around 30% from around €53m (US$63.3m) in 2013.

In the hope of reversing Latterie Friulane's fortunes, Parmalat plans to expand and refine the North East Italian dairy's activities.

"Parmalat will continue to carry out and will expand the activities of Latterie Friulane, an entity with deep roots in its host community, by implementing a plan designed to regain competitiveness and keep in operation the Campoformido production facilities and those that manufacture DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) products, while continuing to source raw milk locally in the Friuli region,"​ said Parmalat.

Parmalat's proposed acquisition of Latterie Friulane follows a year of international spending by the Italian dairy.

Most recently, in December 2014, it agreed to acquire Australian dairy, Longwarry Food Park​ for around €45m (US$53.6m) - building on its April 2014 €79m (US$94.2m) purchase of Western Australian dairy, Harvey Fresh.

Lactalis-owned Parmalat also invested heavily in Brazil in 2014.

In August, Parmalat announced its R$250m (US$110m, €83m) offer​ to acquire the UHT milk and cheese operations of Lácteos do Brasil (LBR), which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2013, had been accepted.

The following month, Brasil Foods (BRF) agreed to sell Parmalat 11 dairy plants in the country for R$1.8bn​ (US$795m, €610m). It completed the deal​ in December.

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