Blog: Dean BestAmbitious Brazilian dairy Vigor gets anti-trust boost

Dean Best | 28 May 2013

"We are well on our way to reach our goal to be the largest dairy company in the country." So claimed the CEO of Brazilian dairy Vigor, after it announced plans to buy 50% of rival Itambé. Overnight there was good news for Vigor when Brazil's anti-trust authority approved the deal.

In an interview with just-food last month, Vigor CEO Gilberto Xandó said the company, spun off last year from meat giant JBS, wanted to expand its presence in the vast South American country. The move to invest in Itambé helps Vigor build an interest in the south-eastern states of Minas Gerais and in Rio de Janiero, as well as in the north-east of Brazil.

Vigor, which competes with international players like Nestle and Danone, is expanding in added-value categories like yoghurt.

Interestingly, at least in the short term, Vigor and Itambé will remain competitors in some of these coveted categories. Xandó said there were no plans to merge the two companies, which would operate independently for the next two years at least, he said.

"There's a lot more synergy than rivalry between the brands, and we are focusing our efforts on that. And regarding products which are similar, we believe the exchange of experiences will be fundamental to building one of the largest dairy firms in Brazil," he said.

Brazil's dairy sector is forecast to grow rapidly. According to Euromonitor, in 2012 dairy sales in Brazil were US$29.77bn. It estimates that figure will rise to $46.3bn by 2017. For all that growth, Nestle and Danone will be watching Vigor closely.


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