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Arla Foods acquires British cheese importer

Press Release   •   Nov 13, 2002 16:03 CET

On November 7, Arla Foods acquired HT Webb & Co, the UK cheese importer.

With an annual turnover of DKK 700 million, HT Webb is one of the UK’s leading importers of speciality cheese. In addition, HT Webb, which also slices and packs and produces local, speciality cheeses, has considerable experience in managing product categories in the retail sector.

The acquisition extends Arla Foods’ product portfolio in the UK market into a rapidly growing market segment. As well as Danish and Swedish ranges of speciality cheese, Arla Foods will now also be in a position to supply the retail sector with local products as well as products from other countries.

HT Webb, which has 300 employees, will continue to operate its current UK plants in Kent and Essex. The company will form part of Arla Foods’ UK Division and its present management will remain in place. The purchase sum has not been divulged.

The move strengthens Arla Foods’ foothold in the UK market where, in the past year, the Group has established a joint venture with New Zealand’s Fonterra for packing, distribution, marketing and sales of butter and spreads under the Anchor brand.
In the summer, a new warehouse at Stourton in Leeds was commissioned and in September it was decided to construct a new liquid milk dairy on an adjacent site in Stourton. The dairy is expected to be completed in October 2004.