[13 December/Dairy Reporter]

Arla Foods has announced that it will be acquiring Mondelez International’s processed cheese business currently licensed under the Kraft Brand in the Middle East and North Africa.  The region is a key growth focus for Arla and the deal will provide it ownership of a cheese production facility in Bahrain, providing opportunities to expand the business further.  The company has doubled sales in the region organically since 2010 to around EUR560 million this year, and CEO, Peder Tuborgh, said the acquisition is a game changer for the business providing excellent strategic fit and a platform for growth.  Until now most of the company’s products sold in the region has been produced in Europe however the co-op envisages doing more production in Bahrain over time using high quality milk from European farmer owners of the business.  The terms of the deal has not been disclosed and it is expected to settle fully by the end of May 2019.