Arlas facility at Bad Woerishofen

Arla's facility at Bad Woerishofen

European dairy giant Arla Foods has has sold its cheese factory at Bad Woerishofen in Germany to the Belgian cheese trader and processor Vache Bleue.

The handover of the plant to the new owner is to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2019, Arla said.

Financial details have not been disclosed.

Denmark-headquartered Arla said it had taken the step as "production and sales of speciality cheeses produced in Bad Woerishofen no longer correspond to the strategic direction of Arla's business in Germany and Europe".

The transaction also includes the sale of all shares in the French cheese processors Martin Sengele Produits Laitiers in Muhlbach-sur-Munster, a 100% subsidiary of Arla Foods which collates and packages cheeses produced in Bad Woerishofen, primarily for distribution in France.

Arla said work at Bad Woerishofen will continue in its current form with all 73 employees retained by Vache Bleue. The 50 employees at Martin Sengele Produits Laitiers are also expected to keep their jobs.

In addition, Arla Foods has agreed with the Allgäu dairy delivery groups that milk delivery income will be transferred to Vache Bleue.