French cheese maker Bel has acquired a majority interest in Moroccan dairy firm Safilait from private equity firms Fipar Holding and Sopar.

Safilait is the third largest dairy company in Morocco. It specialises in the processing, packaging and sale of fresh milk, UHT milk and fresh dairy products through its Jibal brand.

Bel will acquire a 69.82% of Safilait's share capital and voting rights. The remaining 30.18% interest will stay under the ownership of Safilait's founding company, Yasfi.

Antoine Fievet, Bel Group's chairman and CEO said: "Bel is proud of its success in Morocco, built with the help of long-time local partners. The group applauds this new partnership with recognised Moroccan producers, one that fully meets its strategic growth objectives."

Omar Kettani, Yasfi's chairman and CEO, added: "We are honoured to forge a partnership with the Bel Group, which is known and recognised both nationally and internationally for its professionalism and values. This partnership will enable Safilait to consolidate its position and to reach a new milestone in its growth."

The deal is subject to approvals. The expectation is that these will be secured by the third quarter of 2015.

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