April 1/Parma, Italy/Press Release -- Parmalat is increasing its presence in Australia by acquiring local dairy and beverage firm Harvey Fresh for 79 million euros ($108 million).

Parmalat, majority owned by French dairy giant Lactalis, said the acquisition "improves the group's export capabilities to the Asiatic markets."

Harvey Fresh operates in the state of Western Australia, where Parmalat has a marginal presence, and produces fresh and UHT milk dairy products, in addition to a significant business in the fruit beverage market. In that area of the country, Harvey Fresh is the second-largest producer in the dairy sector. This company owns two production facilities with approximately 250 employees.