Emmi is expanding its international business through the acquisition of a minority stake in two companies located in France and Italy - "strategic" markets for the Swiss dairy group's cheese products.

The company is looking to reinforce its position in France's cheese market by purchasing a 25% stake in French cheese packaging specialist Diprola, which trades under the Schöpfer name.

Freshly portioned and packaged cheese, primarily available at self-service counters, has been a growing segment in France for "many years", Emmi said. 

"With its investment in Diprola, Emmi can tap synergies in France in the logistics and pre-packaging segments while improving Emmi's market performance in France and surrounding markets," the company suggested.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Emmi is "solidifying its standing" through a collaboration with Venchiaredo, a specialist in fresh cheese and mozzarella.

As part of a share capital increase for Venchiaredo in January, Emmi is acquiring a minority stake in the business.

As part of the collaboration, Emmi Italy will handle the sales and marketing activities for Venchiaredo.

"Emmi is thereby reinforcing its market position in Italy while enhancing the volume of its own brand business via existing clients. At the same time, it can promote the development of its fresh cheese and mozzarella products under the Trentinalatte brand, both nationally and via the Emmi Group subsidiaries," the company said.

Italy is one of Emmi's key international markets alongside Germany, Austria, the UK and the US.