Deal marks Lactaliss entry into India

Deal marks Lactalis's entry into India

French dairy giant Lactalis has entered India with the acquisition of local processor Tirumala Milk Products.

A spokesperson confirmed the deal to just-food yesterday (7 January) but could not comment further. It followed months of speculation linking Lactalis to the business. In November, Tirumala confirmed Lactalis's French rival Danone had made a bid for the company.

Tirumala is one of the largest dairy processors in southern India. The Hyderabad-based company processes and markets products including milk, butter, [Indian cheese] paneer and ice cream. It turned over INR14.2bn (US$228.7m) in 2012-13, 21% higher than in the previous year.

The group was majority-owned by its founders, with private-equity firm Carlyle owning a minority stake.

Milk production in India is increasing annually by about 4%, while internationally the growth rate is 1.2% to 1.3%.