German dairy co-ops Nordmilch and Humana Milchindustrie have formally applied for anti-trust clearance of their plans to merge.

The two co-ops have been partners in a whey processing venture since 2006 and last year, they combined their sales divisions.

Nordmilch sees a deeper merger as vital for the businesses as they look to compete in a wider European dairy sector that has seen waves of M&A activity in recent years.

A spokesman for the Bundeskartellamt said the competition watchdog would look into the proposed deal and decide by 11 October whether to clear the deal or start a more in-depth investigation.


As well as awaiting regulatory clearance, farmer-members will vote on the merger plans at extraordinary meetings that had been slated for later this year.


Officials at Nordmilch could not be reached for further comment.