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A-Brands

Emmi To Acquire US Feta Cheese Brand Athenos

Swiss dairy firm Emmi has agreed to acquire US feta cheese company Athenos from Lactalis Group for an undisclosed amount.

The move will help Emmi strengthens its position in the US market and create additional export opportunities for Swiss cheese due to its strengthened distribution.

Matthias Kunz, executive vice-president of the American division at Emmi, said, "We are well suited for further developing this business successfully.

"It will strengthen our position in the strategically important US market and therefore also our growing export business from Switzerland as we can offer our customers an even more extensive and attractive range of products." 

Management

After completion of the transaction, Athenos will be managed by Emmi Roth USA, which has been part of the Emmi Group since 2009. 

Currently, Emmi Roth USA operates three production facilities in Wisconsin and supplies retail and foodservice customers nationwide with high-quality specialty cheeses produced locally and imported from Switzerland.

Feta cheese is gaining popularity in the United States and is expected to see further growth in the future as more people turn towards healthy eating. 

Last year, Athenos generated net sales of approximately $90 million.

The Transaction

In autumn of last year, Kraft Heinz agreed to sell the Athenos business to a US affiliate of Lactalis Group as part of a natural cheese transaction. 

However, to fulfill conditions identified during the customary antitrust review by the US regulatory of that transaction, Lactalis decided to sell Athenos to Emmi. 

Emmi's acquisition of Athenos is also subject to final approval by US regulators.

Last month, the Swiss dairy firm reported a 6.2% year-on-year increase in sales to CHF1.9 billion (€1.8 billion) for the first half of its financial year.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest A-Brands news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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