Switzerland’s leading dairy player, Emmi Group, has announced it is selling off its 25% stake in Italian cheesemaker Ambrosi to Lactalis for an undisclosed amount.
Emmi boasts a diverse portfolio of dairy brands, ranging from Pierrot Ice Cream to Tony’s Mozzarella, Le petit chevrier, Emmi Benecol, and Aktifit.
The Swiss dairy major acquired its stake in Ambrosi – which specialises in Italian cheese classics Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano – back in 2007.
At that time, the acquisition was aimed at achieving joint international growth in several selected countries in the speciality and premium cheese segment. “Emmi and Ambrosi intend to offer their customers a comprehensive, high quality range of traditional Swiss and Italian cheeses and drive their international growth forward,” said the cheese manufacturers at the time of acquisition.
However now, Emmi’s strategy is moving away from the Italian cheese classics.
“Italian cheese classics such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano have been the ideal addition to our high-quality traditional range of Swiss cheese specialities, but are no longer part of our core range,” explained Emmi Group CEO Urs Riedener.
“The sale also reflects our consistent strategic alignment to differentiated brand concepts and profitable focus platforms such as ready-to-drink coffee, specialty cheese, desserts and plant-based milk alternatives.”
France-headquartered multinational Lactalis, the largest dairy products group in the world, will incorporate Ambrosi into its portfolio alongside well known brands Président, Société, Lactel, and Stonyfield Organic.
Current sales of Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano appear strong. According to the Grana Padano protection consortium, an increase in production and consumption, alongside recovering prices, ‘positively influenced’ market results in 2021 and the first four months of 2022. In 2021, exports grew by 7.07%.
As for Parmigiano Reggiano space, 2021 consumer turnover hit an all-time high of 2.7bn compared to €2.7bn compared to 2.35bn in 2020. Value at production also saw the highest on record, at €1.71bn compared to €1.52bn in 2020.