Embattled cheese maker Entremont Alliance has received a joint takeover bid from Sodiaal and Bongrain, a spokesperson told for the group just-food today (13 July).

While the spokesperson was unable to confirm French reports that Lactalis had also submitted an offer, he added that this was "probably only a matter of days away."

No one from Sodiaal, Bongrain and Lactalis was immediately available for comment. 

Sodiaal already has strong links with Entremont Alliance. In July 2007 the groups agreed to integrate their baby food, elaborated milk ingredients and nutritional and dietetic operations.

The spokesperson added that he could not comment on the details of the Sodiaal-Bongrain offer, other than to say it concerned 100% of Entremont's assets. He also confirmed that no bids for Entremont had been received from foreign groups, quashing rumours that Danish group Arla was in the running. 

Labour unions at Entremont have warned of the serious consequences for jobs if a takeover bid from Lactalis is successful as the two firms are direct competitors in the emmental market.

"Unlike Lactalis, there is no overlap in activities between Entremont and Sodiaal and Bongrain so perhaps the unions would be less hostile to a bid from the latter. But we are still some way off on any deal going through," the spokesman said.