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July 8, 2019

Lactalis extends US presence with Ehrmann’s yogurt business

French dairy giant Lactalis has extended its presence in the US with the purchase of another yogurt business.

By Dean Best

French dairy giant Lactalis has bought the US yogurt business of Germany-based Ehrmann.

The deal for Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy closed on Friday (5 July) for an undisclosed sum and gives Lactalis access to two more production plants having made three other acquisitions in the US over the past two years.

Ehrmann will complement Lactalis’ existing yogurt brands in the US, Stonyfield and Siggi’s, said Thierry Clement, the chief executive of the company’s North America division. 

The US business manufactures yogurt and other dairy products under the brands Green Mountain Creamery and Liebe from its plants in Brattleboro, Vermont and in Casa Grande, Arizona. It also offers a private-label service. Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy was founded in 2009 and employs 250 people.

Clement continued: “Ehrmann’s Vermont and Arizona plants are the ideal platform to develop our star brands, strengthen national distribution, and secure top-flight quality and service for our private-label customers.

“The capability we gain with Ehrmann’s two plants, combined with the power of our leading brands, ensures the long-term growth of the Lactalis yogurt business in the US, and underlines our commitment and ambition in the category.”

Lactalis will now have eight factories in the US employing more than 2,400 staff. It acquired Siggi’s last year and US organic dairy business Stonyfield in 2017.

Most of the recent acquisition activity by Lactalis has been centred in emerging markets, with publicly-listed Prabhat Dairy and Greenland Group for Food Industries the latest targets in the early part of this year. 

In February, Lactalis took the unprecedented step of disclosing its financial performance and said it aims to boost sales by around 8% in two years with the majority expected to be generated from outside France.

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