Swiss dairy company Emmi is to establish a new cheese production company through the merger of three of its cheese production units.

The units to be merged are Gerberkaese in Thun, central Switzerland, Tiger Kaese in Langnau, northwestern Switzerland and Zingg in Liebefeld, western Belgium.

Emmi plans to gradually concentrate the production of fondue, processed and curd cheeses in the Langnau and Thun facilities by 2005.

Emmi plans to close down the Liebefeld production facility and to relocate Zingg's equipment to the Langnau or Thun facilities.

The news company is expected to generate an annual turnover of CHF130m (US$97.5m), half of which is predicted to come from exports.

Emmi also plans to gradually relocate its milk processing plant in Basel, northwestern Switzerland to Ostermundigen, northern Switzerland, by the end of 2004, reported the Swiss News Digest.