The European Commission and the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) have approved Arla Foods’ acquisition of Friesland Foods Fresh Nijkerk from FrieslandCampina.

The transaction was completed yesterday (4 May) and will see dairy giant Arla acquire the Nijkerk daily fresh dairy business, including the brands Breaker, Milk&Fruit, Kwarkyoghurt and Melkunie brands.

A ten-year licence agreement has been entered into for the use of the Friesche Vlag brand for fresh dairy products in the Netherlands and FrieslandCampina is guaranteeing the supply of raw milk to the factory in Nijkerk until 1 January 2017.

Tim Ørting Jørgensen, Arla’s executive vice president, consumer international, said he was “very pleased” with the final approval of the purchase.

“We will immediately start up the work to integrate our new Dutch business into Arla Foods. We already have a very positive dialogue with our new collegaues in Nijkerk.
This is a major step in fulfilling our strategic ambition to be the leading dairy supplier to consumers in northern Europe,” Jørgensen said.

The sale of the plant at Nijkerk was one of the conditions imposed by the European Commission when it approved the merger between Dutch dairy groups Friesland Foods and Campina in December 2008. This was done to prevent FrieslandCampina from gaining a monopoly on the Dutch market in the “daily fresh dairy” sector.

Friesland Foods Fresh employs 500 personnel in Nijkerk, including 150 temporary staff. Turnover in 2008 totalled EUR240m (US$321m).

FrieslandCampina will remain active in daily fresh dairy in the Netherlands through FrieslandCampina Dagvers, some of whose products are sold under the Campina brand.

It will also continue to use Friesche Vlag in the Netherlands to market long-life dairy products and coffee creamers.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.