French food co-op Agrial has confirmed the completion of the merger of its milk collection activities with those of Normandy counterpart Elle & Vire.

Talks over a possible deal started in 2009. The transaction remains subject to the approval of France's competition authorities, an Agrial spokesman told just-food today (11 July).

"Elle & Vire will contribute approximately 420m litres to Agrial's annual milk collection volume, taking it to over 900m litres and generating an annual turnover of around EUR300m (US$421.2m)," the spokesman said. "The significance of the merger is that it will give Agrial critical mass in this activity, ahead of the abolition of EU quotas and also provide us with a platform to develop a stronger presence in the dairy sector generally."  

Earlier this year, Agrial took a minority shareholding in Délicelait, a milk ingredients firm.