French dairy, juice and soup products maker Laiterie de Saint-Denis-de-l’Hôtel (LSDH) is to buy salad firm Les Crudettes from local company Groupe Pomona.

LSDH has intially taken a 66% stake in Les Crudettes and will take full control over the next two years. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

Les Crudettes has a 20% share of the French market for ready-to-eat lettuce.

LSDH described the purchase as being part of its diversification strategy. It marks the first time the group has ventured out of liquid food, where 70% of its business is in supplying supermarkets’ private labels.

LSDH has undertaken to retain Les Crudettes’ 500-strong workforce, which is based at two plants.

Its activities also encompass snack products with a range of ready-to-eat salad dishes, prepared fruit and breadless sandwiches. It posted turnover of EUR76m (US$103.8m) in its last financial year.

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