Dairy consolidation: Emmi acquires majority stake in Leeb
by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)
Switzerland’s largest dairy company buys into well-known organic goat milk processor. They promise further growth in the future.
In a press release, the Emmi Group announced that it has acquired 66 percent stake in the Austrian organic goat and sheep milk processor Leeb Biomilch GmbH. The other 35 percent will remain with the owners Hubert Leeb and Jörgen Hackenbuchner, who will also continue to be manage the business. Hubert Leeb explained the sale of the majority stake to Emmi with their intention of continuing and accelerating the growth trend of recent years.
In 2018, the Swiss dairy group Emmi had a turnover of almost €3.1 billion, half of it abroad and 10 percent of it with organic products. The organic portfolio includes the Gläserne Molkerei, the ice cream brand Rachelli and the Swiss dairy Biedermann. Emmi has expanded its market position in the goat and sheep milk sector through acquisition in the Netherlands and Spain. Emmi is a public limited company, the majority of which is owned by agricultural cooperatives.
Leeb Biomilch GmbH was founded in 2001 by Hubert Leeb, an Austrian food engineer. In 2007, Jörg Hackenbucher joined as a partner. With a turnover of €15 million, the company is one of Europe’s leading processors of organic goat’s and sheep’s milk. Since 2016, Leeb is offering vegan milk alternatives adding to Emmi’s organic portfolio.
From September 2017 to August 2018, customers bought 7 percent more organic vegetables in Swiss retail outlets than in the same period last year. Sales of fruit and milk increased as well.
The Austrians have the fourth highest proportion of organic food in the whole of Europe. This was announced by Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) - which provided further organic figures.
In 2017, organic products worth 2.7 bn Swiss francs were sold in Switzerland. According to the Federal Office for Agriculture, organic food sales now account for 9% of total food sales.