Emmi Roth to acquire US feta cheese producer Athenos from Lactalis

US cheese manufacturer Emmi Roth has agreed to acquire feta cheese producer Athenos from French dairy giant Lactalis Group for an undisclosed price.

Feta cheese is a Greek cheese prepared from the milk of sheep and goats.

Emmi Roth, which is part of Swiss milk processor Emmi Group, said that the acquisition will expand its business and product offerings. Besides, Athenos is said to complement the range of Emmi Roth’s domestically prepared and imported specialty cheeses in the US.

Tim Omer — president and managing director at Emmi Roth said: “We’re continuing to focus on the specialty cheese industry that we really care about. We take pride in providing the best specialty cheeses to our customers and consumers, and adding Athenos to our family will strengthen our product range and allow us to offer another great line of products.”

The 2020 net sales of Athenos were around $90 million.

Emmi Group’s Emmi Roth to acquire US feta cheese producer Athenos from Lactalis

Emmi Group’s Emmi Roth to acquire US feta cheese producer Athenos from Lactalis. Photo courtesy of Emmi Group.

The US feta cheesemaker is expected to benefit from the solid retail and foodservice connections of Emmi Roth along with its marketing expertise to reach new consumers via social media and digital marketing.

Athenos is part of the $3.2 billion previously announced sale by Kraft Heinz of its natural, grated, cultured, and specialty cheese businesses to a US affiliate of Lactalis Group. In order to fulfill conditions identified during the antitrust review by the US competition regulator, Lactalis Group has agreed to sell the feta cheese business to Emmi Roth.

Matthias Kunz — Executive Vice President, Division Americas at Emmi Group said: “With Athenos the number 1 in the US feta market will be joining Emmi. We are well suited for further developing this business successfully. It will strengthen our position in the strategically important US market and therefore also our growing export business from Switzerland as we can offer our customers an even more extensive and attractive range of products.”

The closing of the deal is subject to approval from the US competition authorities.

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