Arla Foods intends to acquire Friesland Foods Fresh Nijkerk

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11 March 2009
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Arla Foods Amba and Royal FrieslandCampina N.V. intend to enter into an agreement about the sale and purchase of all the shares in Friesland Foods Fresh Nijkerk (Nijkerk Dairy B.V.) The takeover includes the fresh dairy activities, the buildings, land, equipment and the brands Breaker, Milk&Fruit and Melkunie. For the brand Friesche Vlag there is a license agreement for a period of 10 years for fresh dairy products in the Netherlands only. It is expected the transaction will be completed in the course of this year’s second quarter. The supply of raw milk to the factory in Nijkerk is guaranteed by FrieslandCampina until 1 January 2017. Completion of the sale and purchase is among other things conditional of approval of the competition authorities of the European Commission.

Friesland Foods Fresh in Nijkerk produces milk, buttermilk, natural and fruit-flavoured yoghurt, quark yoghurt, custard, porridge, Milk&Fruit and Breaker. In Nijkerk, fresh dairy products are produced under the brand Friesche Vlag and other own brands for supermarkets. Just over 500 people work at the Nijkerk site, including approximately 150 temporary staff. Revenue is approximately 215 million euros (2007).

Arla Foods will respect the current employment terms and conditions and the transaction is not meant to have any direct consequences for the employees.

The sale of Friesland Foods Fresh in Nijkerk is due to the European Commission’s decision that after the merger between Friesland Foods and Campina the new combination would hold a dominant position in the markets for fresh dairy and naturally matured cheese in the Netherlands, in long-life flavoured dairy drinks in the Netherlands and Belgium and in the raw milk market in the Netherlands.

Arla Foods’ CEO Peder Tuborgh comments:

“This is a very important step for Arla Foods, which makes the Netherlands a new core market for our company. We believe we have a lot to offer the Dutch consumers, and we appreciate the agreement we have reached with Royal FrieslandCampina, which enables us to enter a dairy market with such proud traditions. It is in perfect alignment with our strategy to become the preferred dairy for consumers in Northern Europe. We will respect all the current employment terms and conditions and intends to continue the operations and employee base as it is today.”

Cees ‘t Hart CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina is pleased with the agreement with Arla Foods:
“It’s important that we reached a good agreement with Arla Foods about the sale and purchase of Friesland Foods Fresh in Nijkerk in just a few months. With the expected sale to Arla Foods, Friesland Foods Fresh will become part of a robust dairy company. In this way we expect to comply with the decision of the European Commission to provide continuity of the fresh dairy business for its customers, employees and suppliers.”

Completion of the sale and purchase is conditional on approval of the competition authorities of the European Commission, the Dutch competition authorities (NMa) and the consultation of the works council of Friesland Foods Fresh Nijkerk. The purchase price will not be disclosed.

Arla Foods is one of the international dairy industry’s key players. 8,000 Danish and Swedish cooperative members own the cooperative, Arla Foods amba. The cooperative members supply Arla Foods’ most important raw material, cows’ milk, on a daily basis. We want to create the best dairy for 250+ million consumers in Northern Europe. We want to build a strong Arla brand and to be a global leader in added value butter and added value cheese. Arla Foods has sales offices in 27 countries and production facilities in 12. The company’s dairy products are exported to more than 100 countries. Arla Foods is the world’s biggest supplier of organic dairy products. Arla Foods’ ambition is to minimise emissions and continually improve its environmental efforts throughout the supply chain in order to contribute to organically sustainable development. Arla Foods’ mission is to provide modern consumers with milk-based products that create inspiration, confidence and well-being.

Royal FrieslandCampina is a multinational dairy company that produces and markets natural, nutritious and high-quality dairy products and ingredients. Taste, health, convenience and reliability are key characteristics. Based on the figures of 2007 FrieslandCampina’s annual revenue will amount to 9.1 billion euros. The company will employ 22,000 people and has about 100 production and sales locations in 25 different countries. FrieslandCampina organised its activities in a structure comprising four business groups: Consumer Products Western Europe, Consumer Products International, Cheese & Butter and Ingredients. The product range consists of consumer milk, milk in powder and concentrated form, dairy drinks, yoghurts, desserts, cream, coffee creamers, baby and infant food, cheese, butter and ingredients. Its most important brands are Campina, Chocomel, Completa, Dutch Lady, Frisian Flag, Foremost, Friesche Vlag, Betagen, Fristi, Vifit, Landliebe, Milli, Mona, Optimel, Optiwell, Puddis, Pöttyös, Fruttis, NoyNoy, Peak, Rainbow, Yazoo, Frico, Milner, Buttergold, Valess, Debic, DMV, Kievit, Domo, Creamy Creation, Nutrifeed, Appelsientje, DubbelFrisss and CoolBest. The business is based on a cooperative model. The 17,000 member dairy farmers of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina are the owners and the suppliers of the milk.

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Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 9,400 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.

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