Parmalat, the Italian dairy company taken over by France's Lactalis Group last year, has acquired Lactalis American Group from its parent for US$904m.

The acquisition includes the distribution, on an exclusive basis, of the products of the Lactalis Group throughout the Americas.

Lactalis American Group operates mainly in the US in the production and distribution of cheese and other dairy products. Its portfolio of proprietary and licensed brands includes Galbani, Président and Sorrento.

In 2011, the firm reported revenues of $979.3m and EBITDA of $84m.

Parmalat said the transaction will offer it entry into the US dairy market, increase revenues provided by value-added products such as "soft and fresh" cheese, and allow it to import Canadian cheddar.

The enterprise value of the deal is 9.5 times projected 2012 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or 10.6 times 2011 EBITDA.

For Lactalis Group, which bought 83% of Parmalat last year, the quasi-internal deal will add almost $1bn to its topline after the firm took on debt to make the acquisition.