French dairy processor Lactalis has acquired local cheese maker Fromageries de l'Etoile.

The deal, reportedly struck for between EUR50m (US$69.1m) and EUR100m, sees Lactalis buy a company that makes a range of speciality cheeses, including those awarded AOC status. The AOC is the certification awarded in France for products made in certain geographical areas.

According to figures on the Fromageries de l'Etoile website, the company has an annual turnover of EUR45m and sells cheese from across France to domestic retailers. It also exports cheese to markets including the US, Australia and Japan.

"With this acquisition, Lactlais, the leader in protected designation of origin cheese, is strengthening its position in this segment," a Lactalis spokesperson told just-food.

Earlier this year, Lactalis acquired Wälchli, another French maker of speciality cheeses, including AOC products.