Scandinavia's Arla dairy in merger talks with German co-op
Danish-Swedish dairy cooperative Arla Foods is in merger talks with with Germany's Hansa-Milch, also a cooperative, the Scandinavian company said Friday.
"A decision by the cooperative members as to whether the merger is to come about will be taken in February-March 2011," Arla said in a statement.
Arla is owned by some 7,600 dairy farmers in Denmark and Sweden, while Hansa-Milch is owned by around 1,000 farmers in Northern Germany.
"Together with Hansa-Milch, we would be able to offer a complete portfolio of dairy products from one single supplier, which will enable us to become an even more attractive partner to the German retail trade," Arla chief executive Peder Tuborgh said in a statement.
He added both companies were comparable as cooperatives and had the same ambitions for the German market.
The merger would need approval by European regulatory authorities.
Arla Foods says it is the fourth largest dairy cooperative in the world.
© 2010 AFP