Groupe Bel, the French firm behind products including The Laughing Cow, has snapped up Spanish cheese brand Tranchettes.

Bel has bought what it called "the reference brand for processed cheee slices in Spain" from local firm Quesería Menorquina.

The Laughing Cow is on sale in Spain but Bel said the deal would give it a brand in the slices sub-category, which accounts for 60% of the country's processed cheese market.

Bel claimed its sales volumes in Spain increased in 2012 despite the pressure on consumer spending from the economic problems in the country.

Quesería Menorquina will continue to produce cheese for Bel at its site in Mahon. Bel said the transaction gave the Spanish firm the chance to focus on supplying cheese to manufacturers.

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, remains subject to clearance from Quesería Menorquina's shareholders, who will meet this month.