GERMANY – The French agricultural cooperative and food-processor Agrial has agreed to acquire German dairy company Rotkappchen Peter Julich Group for an undisclosed sum.

According to Agrial, the acquisition represents further fulfilment of the strategy of Eurial, the Dairy division of Agrial, focused on developing strong brands and important territorial entrenchment in Europe.

The transaction which is expected to take place in January 2019 complements the company’s strategy of winning value through important commercial and industrial synergies.

“This acquisition will be a new and determined step in our quest to create value for the Cooperative’s dairy farmers.

Our aim is to be less dependent on the global commodities markets by strengthening the weight of our brands and our international business.

This is a long-term strategy that is built step-by-step and for which all the elected farmers and teams are dedicating all their energy, for our farmer-members,” said Pascal Le Brun, President of the Agrial dairy farmers’ organisation.

Rotkappchen is a family-owned German based company in Dortmund, specializes in cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses and owns three famous brands in the country.

It has 138 employees and a large sales team (25 sales representatives covering all of Germany), an industrial site in Lumpzig (near Leipzig) and it posted consolidated sales of US$45.15 million in 2017.

Already present in Germany through private labels, Eurial would strengthen its positions on a growing German cheese market, giving its brands new development perspectives for both cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses.

the company said as from the first quarter of 2019, Eurial’s factories in France would manufacture over 1,000 tons of soft cow’s milk cheese for the German market, representing around 7 million litres of milk from Agrial members.

“This investment in Germany is directly in phase with our projects in Italy and Spain, bolstering our international development first and foremost with a stronger presence in Europe.

Finding a partner who is present on the cow’s and goat’s cheese markets is a real advantage for Eurial’s development in Germany,” said Olivier Athimon, CEO of Agrial’s Dairy division.

Peter Julich, owner of Rotkappchen said: “Selling our family-owned company to Agrial, whose cooperative values are very close to ours, would be an important guarantee for the longevity of the company and the future of our employees.

In a cheese market that is flourishing in Germany, this acquisition would also represent an opportunity to continue to develop our brands and consolidate our sales teams with new brands that are famous in France.”

On completion of the transaction, the firm will redeploy industrial activities between the German factory in Lumpzig and French factories of Agrial’s Dairy division.