The latest Rabobank survey of the world’s largest dairy companies highlights not just the ‘who’s who of dairy’, but also the continuing spate of merger and acquisition activity and the tensions between the past and future of the dairy industry. The top rankings in the list are still largely filled by companies from the developed world, while most of the growth prospects lie beyond OECD boundaries.changing global market dynamics will determine their prospects for survival in coming years.
The majority of the companies in the top-20 have bought other companies or entered joint ventures to strengthen their position during this period. The most significant moves have included: - Nestlé’s acquisition of Pfizer’s nutrition business, to buy improved entry into the rapidly growing infant nutrition sector in emerging markets; - Lactalis’s acquisition of Parmalat, giving them access to several new markets around the world; - FrieslandCampina’s acquisition of Alaska Milk in the Philippines, expanding their foothold in a fast-growing market; - Arla’s proposed merger with Milk Link in the UK, and Milch-Union Hocheifel in Germany, consolidating their Northern European footprint; - Canadian-based Saputo’s acquisition of the US cheese maker DCI to bolster its product portfolio in the US cheese market; - Müller’s acquisition of Robert Wiseman Dairies in the UK and joint venture with PepsiCo in the US to tap into the expanding US yoghurt category.
Rabobank expects to see companies continue to vigorously pursue merger and acquisition targets in the next 12 months as they jostle to position themselves for growth and profit in a changing market environment.
Jonathan Goodstone / Naomi Lane
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Rabobank is a Netherlands based, international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles. It offers retail banking, wholesale banking, private banking, leasing and real estate services. As a cooperative bank, Rabobank puts customers’ interests first in its services. Rabobank is committed to being a leading customer-focused cooperative bank in the Netherlands and a leading food and agri bank worldwide with assets totalling at 670 billion euro. The organisation has approximately 52,000 employees worldwide and operates in 40 countries.
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