Croatian business conglomerate Fortenova Group has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Meggle dairy in Osijek for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction, conducted through Fortenova subsidiary Belje plus, includes Meggle’s property and dairy production line in Osijek .
'Growth Of Local Agriculture'
Commenting on the deal, CEO of Fortenova Group, Fabris Peruško, said, “With the Osijek plant we have secured the prerequisites for the development of new products, made of local raw material of premium quality and higher added value.
“With this move, we shall continue to work on the preservation and further growth of the local agricultural production, which along with saving existing and opening new jobs is of great significance for Slavonia and the broader community.”
In July of this year, Meggle Group announced its decision to close the Croatian plant as part of an optimisation process for its overall business operations, according to a report in the online publication dairyreporter.com.
Matthias Oettel, CEO of the Meggle Group, said, “The Meggle Group is aware of how important it is to preserve the milk production in Osijek, which is why we had delayed our decision for as long as this was possible and we are glad that with the new owner it will be continued after all. Over all these years Meggle has been a socially sensitive and responsible employer and a reliable business partner.”
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and Belje plus plans to commence production in the facility on 1 January 2021.
Fortenova Group is reviewing the need to hire more employees at the facility and added that Belje will purchase a certain quantity of milk from Meggle’s present contractors when it begins production at the facility in Osijek.
Fortenova Group accounts for around 10% of the total milk produced in Croatia, which meets around 5% of the local needs.
Most of the milk produced at Belje is used for the production of ABC cheese, which currently boasts an annual production level of 3,700 tonnes.
President of the management board of Belje, Andrej Dean, said, “The acquisition of Meggle’s assets and the development of new products can be an additional encouragement to increase the quantities of milk produced and for small producers to invest in dairy cow farms in Croatia.
“This would certainly have a positive effect on the change of trends, after this year the long-lasting decline in milk quantities produced in Croatia has finally been stopped.”