Industry News

Lala acquires Farmland Dairies

Continuing its expansion into the United States, Mexico’s Grupo Lala has finalized its acquisition of New Jersey-based Farmland Dairies, which extends Lala’s distribution into the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Lala is a leading provider of milk and dairy products in Mexico and Latin America, and over the past year has emerged as a leading processor in the United States. With the acquisitions of Farmland and of National Dairy earlier this year, Lala operates 20 local and regional dairy processing facilities in 14 states.

Formerly owned by Parmalat, Farmland Dairies emerged from bankruptcy in April 2005 in the wake of Parmalat’s financial scandal and, under the direction of president and CEO Martin Margherio, has developed a highly efficient, customer-focused company. Its Wallington, N.J., facility is one of the largest HACCP-certified fluid milk plants in the United States.

Shortly before Lala’s transaction was complete, Farmland sold its Grand Rapids, Mich., ESL manufacturing facility to Agropur, a dairy cooperative in Canada. This plant will operate under Agropur’s Minnesota-based Schroeder Milk subsidiary, which it acquired late last year.

Farmland Dairies’ brands, management, personnel and company name will remain unchanged, Lala management said in a press release. Farmland Dairies’ brands include Farmland, Farmland Special Request, Welsh Farms, Clinton and Skim Plus. Lala’s lineup of brands includes Borden’s, Dairy Fresh, Velda Farms, Coburg, Dairymen’s, Cream O’Weber, H. Meyer, Sinton Dairy and Promised Land.

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