Lactalis' takeover bid for Massif Central-based dairy group La Laiterie Toury de Saint-Genès-Champanelle (Toury) has failed.

Toury, a EUR230m (US$311.3m) business, went into administration last month amid heavy losses.

Rejecting the Lactalis bid, a court in Clermont Ferrand opted instead for a proposal from four companies led by local cheesemaker Dischamp.

The group also includes Spanish dairy food and beverages firm, Leche Pascual, milk co-operative Groupement de Laiteries Co-opératives de Charente-Poitou (GLAC) and Vitagermine, a Bordeaux-based organic and dietary food specialist.

The bid makes provision for the safeguarding of Toury's 500-strong workforce and offers EUR48m for its stocks and liabilities, including EUR13m in debts owed to local milk producers.

The takeover is expected to create synergies in the cheeses segment between Toury, best known for its Saint Nectaire brand, which carries an AOC label and Dischamp.

The deal will also provide scope for GLAC to extend its range to include mountain milk as well as providing a possible bottling solution for its own production.