Swiss dairy company Emmi has announced it has acquired a 66% stake in Austria’s Leeb Biomilch, which is a supplier of organic goat and sheep milk products.

Emmi said the deal – for an undisclosed sum – expands its international goat-milk network which it has been building since 2010.  

The purchase also increases Emmi’s range of organic vegan products, it said.

Emmi will acquire 66% of the shares from the two owners, Hubert Leeb and Jörg Hackenbuchner, who will retain the remaining 34% and stay with the business as managing directors.

Emmi entered the goat-milk products business in 2010 through a deal for Californian company Cypress Grove and Swiss brand Le Petit Chevrier. 

Its network now includes two goat-milk processors in the US – Cypress Grove and Redwood Hill – three in Europe – Bettinehoeve (Netherlands), Goat Milk Powder (Netherlands) and Lácteos Caprinos (Spain) – and AVH Dairy, a global trading company also based in the Netherlands. 

Wartberg-based Leeb Biomilch was founded in 2001 by Austrian food engineer Hubert Leeb. 

The company has established a strong position in Europe for organic goat and sheep milk products in fresh and UHT milk, milk drinks and yogurt. It has some 50 employees and generates annual sales of approximately EUR15m (US$16.8m).

It obtains its milk from around 100 Austrian organic farmers.

Leeb Biomilch supplies customers throughout Europe. It generates just under half of its sales in Austria. Other key markets include Germany and the Netherlands, where it also collaborates with the Emmi subsidiaries AVH Dairy and Bettinehoeve, among others.

It also sells vegan products under the MyLove-MyLife brand.

Leeb said: “By selling the majority stake to Emmi, we aim to boost its growth even further.” 

The transaction is expected to close in summer 2019.