July 11/Bracknell, U.K./NamNews -- French dairy group Lactalis has secured 83.3% of Italian peer Parmalat, moving closer to creating the world's biggest dairy company. Lactalis bought 54.3% of Parmalat, Italy's biggest listed food group, in the 2.5 billion euro buyout, Parmalat said in a statement. It had owned 29% before its launch. Parmalat will remain a listed company, it said.

"With nearly 15 billion euros in revenues, the new Lactalis group becomes the world leader for dairy products, with a presence in 55 countries," the French group said in a statement. Lactalis already owned well-known Italian cheese brands such as Galbani and Locatelli. It took control of Parmalat after thwarting government-backed attempts by Italian investors to keep it in domestic hands.

The French cheesemaker won nine of 11 board seats at a Parmalat shareholder meeting last week. Shareholders also picked Franco Tato, a former chief executive at oil company Eni SpA , as chairman.

A new chief executive could be named tomorrow as Parmalat said its new board would meet for the first time on July 12 to appoint a new member following the resignation of Olivier Savary and discuss other matters.


From the July 11, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.