Hipp takes control of plant run in JV with DMK

Hipp takes control of plant run in JV with DMK

German baby food maker Hipp has acquired full control of operations at a milk production facility in northern Germany, which was previously operated as a joint venture with dairy cooperative DMK.

The Herford Milchwirtschaftliche Industrie Gessellschaft (MIG) plant had been used for the production of DMK's Humana infant formula, in addition to other milk products.

A Hipp spokesperson told just-food the terms of the transaction, which was effective from 2 December, are not being disclosed. "MIG will continue to make products as before but without Humana," the spokesperson said. "Hipp has now taken full control of the plant, which currently has around 500 employees, in agreement with DMK."

The spokesperson declined to discuss what would be manufactured at Herford or whether Hipp might be involved in manufacturing products for DMK at the site in future. 

Hipp, based in southern Germany, produces a range of products using organically-produced raw materials including baby milks, baby foods and drinks and exports to more than 50 countries. 

DMK did not respond to requests for comment about its plans for the continued production of Humana.

DMK told just-food in the summer it was involved in talks with Hipp about the future ownership of the Herford facility.

The announcement came just days after the cooperative said it would push ahead with a major cost-cutting programme to free up EUR60m (US$63.3m) by the end of the year in response "severe challenges" faced by the dairy industry.

The announcement was followed by confirmation of a "generational change" in DMK's leadership team following the decisions of CEO Dr Josef Schwaiger and chairman Otto Lattwesen to step down.