French dairy co-operative Sodiaal has announced the sudden death of its chief executive Claude Sendowski at the age of 57.

Sendowski, who joined the group six years ago, died on Saturday (29 January) in Paris. 

He had led the long-running negotiations to acquire French counterpart, Entremont Alliance, a deal which was concluded at the end of last year.

The president of Sodiaal International, Gérard Budin, will take on the responsibilities of CEO on an interim basis, Sodiaal confirmed today.

Apart from the integration of Entremont, another major concern for Sodiaal in the months ahead is the future of yogurt-making subsidiary, YOPLAIT, in which it has a 50% stake.

The other 50% of Yoplait’s capital has been put up for sale by private-equity firm PAI Partners.

Sodiaal has to date underlined that it has no intention of selling any part of its stake Yoplait.