Lactalis has signed an agreement to buy Indian dairy company Prabhat as it further expands its business in Asia.
Established in 1998 in the city of Shrirampur, Prabhat specialises in the production of packaged milk in plastic bags and pouches as well as ghee. Lactalis said the firm is also a leading supplier of dairy ingredients.
The company owns two factories, including one of the largest sweetened condensed milk plants in India, and employs 1,239 people. Annually it collects 450 million litres of milk from 100,000 farmers and last year it posted €200 million in sales. In 2016, Prabhat invested $20 million at its Shrirampur facility.
Lactalis said the acquisition forms part of its development objectives in India, where it has 11 factories. It is expected the deal will be completed in the second quarter of 2019.
France-headquartered Lactalis has an annual turnover of €17 billion, of which Asia and Oceania accounts for 14%. In 2014, it struck its first deal in India with the purchase of Tirumala.
The acquisition comes a week after Danone, through its Danone Manifesto Ventures unit, invested in Drums Food International, the parent company of Indian yogurt brand Epigamia.
Research released earlier this week by Mintel revealed there exists a “strong opportunity” for dairy manufacturers to boost milk’s health credentials in India.
According to the study, while seven in ten (71%) Indians have used milk at least on one occasion in the last three months, only three in five (59%) Indian consumers associate milk with being healthy and just 37% perceive milk to be a high source of calcium.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019