Arla’s purchase of Falbygdens Ost from the food company Atria has now been approved by the Swedish Competition Authority. Arla will therefore be taking over operations at the company as of 1 April 2015. The acquisition is fully in line with Arla’s strategy to promote and develop the premium cheese segment.
“This is a good deal for customers, consumers and Arla’s owners. The employees at Falbygdens Ost represent a proud tradition of cheese-making, and we are now in a position to work closely with them to develop passion and interest in cheese among customers and consumers alike. Falbygdens Ost is a strategic complement to Arla’s own cheese-making business, and the purchase ensures profitable milk sales for our owners – the Arla farmers,” explains Henri de Sauvage, Executive Vice President for Arla in Sweden.
The next step
Following the approval from the Swedish Competition Authority, the integration work can now move from the planning phase to implementation, and negotiations can be completed with the local union organisations. The project to integrate Falbygdens Ost into Arla is the responsibility of Alex Racoveanu, Senior Integration Manager. Working with a team comprising representatives from the Supply Chain, Commercial, IT, HR and Communication departments, Alex is looking to complete the integration process within a year.
“We have a big, but exciting task ahead of us. For example, all processes – from initial order to final delivery – have to be brought together in the shared systems. And in everything we do, our ultimate aim is to become our customers’ first choice in the premium cheese segment. It is sure to be a lot of fun,” says Alex Racoveanu.
The acquisition will add around 100 new employees to the Arla workforce. Their exact position in the organisation will not be decided until the union negotiations have been concluded.
It was in mid-October that Arla and Atria announced the acquisition. Falbygdens Ost runs operations in Falköping, where the company matures and processes cheese through techniques including flavouring and packaging. The acquisition is fully in line with Arla’s strategic commitment to developing the premium cheese segment, which entails expanding the breadth of the range and adding value in the forms of traditional craft, taste and enjoyment.
Falbygdens Ost is currently owned by Atria Sweden, which in turn is a part of the listed Finnish group Atria Abp. Arla will be taking over operations at Falbygdens Ost as of April 1st 2015.
Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 13.500 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the strongest players in the international dairy arena, with a wide range of dairy products of highest quality. Well-known brands like Lurpak® and Castello® belongs to the Arla family. Arla Foods is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic products.