Italian dairy group Sabelli has acquired local peer Stella Bianca from the Latte Montagna Alto Adige (Mila) cooperative.

The financial terms of the transaction, which is set to close next month, were not disclosed in a statement from Sabelli, based in Ascoli Piceno in Italy’s Marche region.

Post-deal, Sabelli said it will have an annual turnover of more than €320m ($346.9m) and EBITDA of over €41m.

A spokesperson for Sabelli, which supplies branded and private-label products, and also operates retail outlets, confirmed the current turnover is €270m.

Located in Lodi, within the Lombardy region, Stella Bianca produces dairy products such as cheese, cream cheese, stracchino, robiola and caprino. It also supplies goat’s cheese.

The company offers its own brands Stella Bianca and Petit Suisse but, like Sabelli, also provides own-label to Italian retailers.

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“The acquisition of Stella Bianca is part of an ambitious process expansion of the group into segments adjacent to the core business. The investment also has the objective to further accelerate the group’s development project with a significant entry into the fresh spreadable cheese division,” Sabelli, which is run by joint CEOs Simone Mariani and Angelo Galeati, said in the statement.

Sabelli’s brands include its namesake line, along with Natura Sincera and Valle D’Aveto. Its portfolio features mozzarella and cheeses such as burrata, ricotta and caciotta.

CEO Mariani said: “The acquisition of the Stella Bianca company is part of
a broader and more ambitious process of expansion of the Sabelli Group into adjacent segments compared to the core business of stretched curds.

“This process saw an important acceleration in 2016 with the first major acquisition of the Trevisanalat company.”

Sabelli acquired mozzarella cheese maker Trevisanalat, also a branded and own-label supplier, from Italian private-equity group Alto Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Co-CEO Galeati said of the latest deal: “On the one hand, the acquisition of Stella Bianca aims to consolidate the group’s reputation as a supplier of high-quality products for private label. At the same time, the opportunity opens up for the Sabelli brand to gain space on an adjacent shelf, and where possible present itself as the brand specialising in fresh produce.”

Just Food has approached Mila for comment on the transaction and the reasons behind the decision to sell Stella Bianca.

With two factories, located in Bolzano and Brunico, the co-op is known for the supply of South Tyrolean milk, but as well as the cow’s variety also markets goat’s milk.

Mila also manufactures mozzarella, along with yogurt, cheese, cream and butter.