Dutch dairy company Campina has acquired the dairy activities in Thailand of Italian food giant Parmalat for an undisclosed amount.

Campina said the acquisition marked its first steps in the Asian region in terms of the production and sale of consumer products.

"The acquisition emphasises the fact that the company is actively pursuing the strategy it revealed last year to take advantage of opportunities for growth in Asia," Campina said.

Parmalat Thailand's operations are mainly focused on pasteurised and long-life milk. With approximately 175 employees, the company achieved a turnover of several million euros in 2003, Campina said.

The Dutch company said the acquisition offers an opportunity for Campina to set up a local unit aimed at the development of its operations in Thailand relatively quickly.

"It is true that dairy consumption in Thailand is low compared to that of Western European countries; however, the consumption is showing strong growth," the company said, adding that Thailand is one of the fastest growing economies in the region.

Campina will acquire 90% of the shares of Parmalat Thailand. The remaining 10% will remain in the hands off a local partner.