Lactalis to acquire Ebro Puleva's dairy business

by Eric Schroeder
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LAVAL, FRANCE — The Lactalis Group, the world’s third largest dairy group with annual sales of €8.5 billion, has agreed to acquire the dairy business of Madrid, Spain-based Ebro Puleva for €630 million ($861 million). The transaction remains subject to an audit and approval from anti-trust authorities.

Known as Puleva Food, the dairy business was formed in 2001 following the merger of Puleva and Azucarera Ebro Agricolas. The unit’s product line includes a full line of milks, milk shakes, butters and whipping creams.

“(Puleva Food’s) incorporation in the Lactalis Group will consolidate the presence of this important company in Spain, which will have a global turnover of over €1,200 million in our country, while at the same time giving it extraordinary development potential as it will join the third leading dairy group worldwide,” Ebro Puleva said.

Ebro Puleva said the transaction represents progress in its focus on developing its international activities in the meal solutions segment as well as the initiation of a new strategic plan, which will take the group through to 2012. The move comes a little more than a year after Ebro Puleva sold its Spanish sugar business to Associated British Foods. Ebro maintains its strong presence in the rice and pasta sectors.
Lactalis Group has more than 38,000 employees in 25 countries worldwide. The company’s dairy presence includes cheese, milk, yogurts and fresh dairy desserts.

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