French dairy Sodiaal is to merge with counterpart 3A after the two groups' boards approved the deal today (25 June).

The agreement is subject to the outcome of consultations with personnel, regulatory approval and the backing of the co-operatives' members who are expected to convene general assemblies before the end of the year. The value of the proposed transaction has not been disclosed.

The deal would allow Sodiaal and 3A to join forces ahead of "a context of change" in the dairy sector with the end of EU milk quotas around 2015, a joint statement reads.

The two co-operatives' activities are "complementary" and "the merger is logical and coherent,' the statement adds.

3A posted a 2012 turnover of EUR756m and the deal will take Sodiaal's annual revenues to more than EUR5bn.

3A has a broad portfolio of cheeses including Massif Central AOC such as Fourme, Bleu, Cantal, Saint-Nectaire as well as Roquefort and AOC Brie de Meaux and Munster.

Its business also extends to yogurt-making, patisserie, frozen deli products and whey.