Emmi looks to expand its goat’s and sheep’s milk offer through the acquisition of a 66% stake in Austrian milk processor Leeb Biomilch.
Founded in 2001, Leeb Biomilch obtains its milk from around 100 Austrian organic farmers and produces a range of yogurt, milk and cheese products.
Supplying customers throughout Europe, the company generates annual sales of approximately €15 million, just under half of which comes from Austria.
Other key markets include Germany and the Netherlands, where it collaborates with Emmi subsidiaries AVH Dairy and Bettinehoeve, among others.
In 2016, the company created the MyLove-MyLife of vegan milk alternatives, featuring products made from almonds, coconut and oats.
Leeb Biomilch owners Hubert Leeb and Jörg Hackenbuchner will retain the remaining 34% stake in the company and continue in their current roles as managing directors. No changes to staff are planned in other areas.
Leeb Biomilch also sells a range of vegan milk alternatives under the MyLove-MyLife brand.
Hackenbuchner said: “Together, we have managed to develop organic sheep’s and goat’s milk products from very little to an attractive niche range that enjoys strong demand throughout Europe.”
Urs Riedener, Emmi Group CEO, added: “Leeb Biomilch GmbH is not only a good fit for Emmi based on its goat’s milk products, but also on its clear commitment to quality, innovation and sustainability.”
Emmi entered the goat’s milk products business in 2010 through its acquisition of Californian company Cypress Grove and Swiss brand Le Petit Chevrier. Positive experience in the segment has prompted it to strengthen its position in what it describes as an “attractive niche”.
Emmi’s goat’s milk network now includes two processors in the US (Cypress Grove and Redwood Hill), two in the Netherlands (Bettinehoeve and Goat Milk Powder), one in Spain (Lácteos Caprinos) and AVH Dairy, a global trading company also based in the Netherlands.
The Swiss dairy was boosted by its goat’s milk brands in its 2018 financial results, as group sales grew 2.8% to CHF 3.46 billion ($3.47 billion).
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