Lactalis has confirmed the 100% acquisition of Auvergne speciality cheese maker, Wälchli.

Wälchli is best known for producing Saint-Nectaire and the acquisition will make Lactalis the leading producer of the cheese. It also produces Cantal and Bleu d’Auvergne.

Wälchli employs 55 staff and posted a 2010 turnover of EUR15.8m (US$22.8m).

Wälchli chief Pierre Wälchli told just-food that joining Lactalis will allow the company to build a new workshop, crucial to its long-term future and, which represents an investment of almost EUR5m.

The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.