Chilean investment group Bethia has completed its US$15m purchase of the Chilean unit of troubled Italian dairy group Parmalat.

Bethia entered into an agreement earlier this year to acquire Parmalat Chile. As part of the deal, Bethia agreed to pay Parmalat’s debts to suppliers of $3m-$5m and invest another $5m in expansion, reported Reuters. Bethia will also be allowed to use Parmalat’s brand name for 15 years.

“Our goal is to be the third in the market … By 2005 we will be able to achieve that,” Carlos Heller, executive vice president of Bethia, was quoted as saying.

Heller also said the company was looking at Parmalat’s operations in Uruguay.