January 6/Lucerne/Press Release -- Emmi is to acquire a 50% stake in Mexideli 2000 Holding SA de CV, which is headquartered in Mexico City. The company is among Mexico's leading importers of speciality cheeses. With this transaction, Emmi is strengthening its presence in Latin America and moving ahead with its program of international growth.

Emmi's strategy is to increase, over the medium term, the share of sales attributable to international business to 50%. The share currently stands at around 43%. The aim is to achieve this growth both organically and through acquisitions, with a stronger focus in future on emerging markets outside Europe.

With the 50% stake in Mexideli 2000 Holding SA de CV (Mexideli), Emmi is strengthening its position in a growing market and increasing the potential for exporting Emmi Group products to Mexico. This gives the company a second strong base in Latin America alongside Chile.

Emmi's CEO Urs Riedener commented,"Mexideli is a healthy and profitable company that has already been distributing Emmi products successfully for many years. Its leading position strengthens our opportunities in Mexico, a country that imports a lot of its cheese. The Emmi products set to benefit are its Swiss export cheese varieties, Swiss fondue, cheeses manufactured locally abroad and the desserts of the Italian producer A-27."

The Mexican Cheese Market
Around a quarter or some 400,000 tons of the cheese consumed in Mexico is imported, meaning that import expertise is vital. The cheese import market is growing at an annual rate in the mid-single digits, while imports of premium speciality cheeses are posting double-digit growth.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or any other details of the contract.