Norwegian-based food combine Rieber & Søn ASA has agreed to acquire the Swedish chilled and frozen desserts producer Frödinge Mejeri AB from the Arla Group. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Rieber said that satisfactory due diligence of Frödinge had been carried out, but the deal remains subject to regulatory approval. However, it expected the deal to close by 1 July 2006.

Founded in 1929, Frödinge is a market leader in the frozen desserts and cakes sector in Sweden. Its prime export markets are the UK, Finland and Germany, and sales to those three countries account for around 45% of the company's turnover. It has 200 employees and is forecast to generate revenues of SEK350m in 2006, with 75% of sales coming from the Frödinge brand.

Rieber said the acquisition affirms its strategic objective to "grow and reinforce the company's position in the Nordic region". The Frödinge deal will almost double Rieber & Søn's sales in Sweden which previously totalled around SEK200m.