Privately held French dairy group Lactalis said on the past Thursday its takeover of Aspen’s global infant formula business would boost its presence in Latin America, Africa, Australia and Asia.
Aspen said earlier on Thursday that it was selling the business to Lactalis for 12.9 billion rand ($864.5 million).
France, seeking to limit reputational damage to its agri-business industry, threatened on Thursday the past week to impose sanctions after the country’s big supermarkets said recalled baby foods made by Lactalis had still found their way onto shop shelves.
The admissions deepened a salmonella health scare that began in early December when France’s consumer protection agency ordered the halt to sales and a global recall of products from a factory in northwest France. Three dozen children have fallen ill.
Privately-held Lactalis, which has annual sales of around 17 billion euros ($20 billion), addressed the salmonella contamination by halting operations at the factory where it started, and announced the temporary layoff of 250 workers.
The recall included products aimed for export to some 30 countries, including to China, and overall represented more than 12 million baby food tins was the biggest recall Lactalis had ever experienced.
Danone announces that it is investing €240 million to build a new plant for its Early Life Nutrition business. With this investment, Danone will capitalize on strong and growing demand for its international early life nutrition brands, including Aptamil and Nutrilon, for both standard and specialized products. The state-of-the-art facility will be built in Cuijk in the Netherlands, and will start production in late 2017.
This new plant is Danone’s largest investment in its European production capabilities, and will double its capacity in the Netherlands. Output will be exported to more than 80 countries worldwide.