Lactalis, owner of Somboled, has claimed it has become the world’s largest maker of dairy products, after the French company sealed the takeover of Italian rival Parmalat, which was initiated on May 23rd this year. After the deadline for Lactalis’s EUR 3.4 billion offer for Parmalat passed Thursday afternoon, the company said it had secured 83.3% of the business.Lactalis president Emmanuel Besnier said the deal was a “very important step” for the family-owned company. The acquisition, he said, would expand Lactalis’s business by 50%, and added: “Lactalis Group is thus becoming more and more international and diversified. Parmalat and Lactalis will both be able to benefit from the business complementarity of both their international organization and brands and products portfolio, in order to carry on in their growth process.”
With an estimated turnover of EUR 15 billion, Lactalis will become the “worldwide leader in dairy products” in 2012 and, with about 200 production plants and over 52,000 employees, it will be present in 55 countries.Somboled, part of Dukat dairy industry, was acquired by Lactalis in 2007 and that is when an intensive development of Somboled started through modernization of the dairy and introduction of new technologies, optimization of the product portfolio and enhancement of the quality of products, as well as through further investment in the primary milk production in Serbia.