BRAZIL – Swiss dairy processor, Emmi has increased its stake in the Brazilian dairy manufacturer Laticínios Porto Alegre Indústria e Comércio S.A from 40% to 70%.

The acquisition which is subject to regulatory approval gives Emmi a controlling stake in the company which has grown to become one of the leading dairies in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.

Founded in 1991 and based in Ponte Nova, Laticínios Porto processes milk and produces milk products, such as cheese, mozzarella, cream cheese, curd, and butter.

It also operates in whey powder, which is mainly supplied to the Brazilian food industry and has expanded to be among the top three largest dairies in its primary market of Minas Gerais.

In 2018, Laticínios Porto Alegre achieved net sales of around BRL 630 million (US$160.1 million) and employed around 1,250 people.

“At the time of the initial investment, Laticínios Porto Alegre was one of the five largest milk processors in Minas Gerais.

“It has since grown into one of the top three.

“One of the reasons for this positive development in a very challenging environment is the excellent work of the local management, which maintains very good relations with milk suppliers and customers,” said Emmi in a statement.

The remaining 30% stake in the company will be controlled by brothers José Afonso and João Lúcio Barreto Carneiro, who will continue managing the company as Chairman of the Board and Managing Director.  

Emmi acquired 40% stake in Laticínios Porto Alegre in 2017 strengthening its strategy to grow its international footprint out of Switzerland.

Before the acquisition, the company had a longstanding presence in this market as a leading exporter of Cheese Fondue and raw milk cheeses from Switzerland.

Emmi says the deal strengthens its presence in Latin America by expanding its market beyond Chile and Mexico.

Emmi continues with its growth strategy through acquisitions and in April acquired 66% stake in Austrian goat’s and sheep’s milk processor Leeb Biomilch GmbH.

The acquisition expands the company’s range of organic vegan portfolio including organic goat and sheep milk products in Europe.