Swiss dairy group Emmi is taking a 60% stake in Dutch goat’s milk processor Bettinehoeve.
Emmi said the move would strengthen its presence in “among the most attractive niches in the international milk industry”. The company is focusing its attention on what it calls “premium and niche markets” in response to the “increasingly challenging” conditions in the European dairy sector.
Emmi has expanded its presence in goat’s milk products since its 2010 acquisition of US goat’s cheese producer Cypress Grove Chèvre. In 2013 the group acquired 70% of Dutch dairy AVH. Most recently, in December, Emmi purchased US firm Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery.
Urs Riedener, Emmi’s CEO, said: “Emmi now has a tried-and-tested network of firms successfully operating in the premium and specialities markets. We have shown our ability to do a particularly good job of integrating pioneering family-owned enterprises into the Emmi Group over the long term. Maintaining the culture specific to a firm helps to further reinforce its success on the market.”
Family-owned Bettinehoeve is the largest producer of fresh and ripened goat’s cheese in the Benelux countries, where it distributes products under the Bettine brand. Founded in 1982, the company employs 115 staff across two production locations. Managing director Sybren Ewijk will continue to lead the group, which Emmi said “will act independently in the market”.
Bettinehoeve generated revenues of around EUR40m (US$43.7m) in 2015. The group’s largest market is the Netherlands, where it generates just under 50% of its sales. Key export markets include the UK, Germany, France, the Nordic countries and Belgium, the company revealed.
The purchase price and other financial details were not disclosed.