French owner of Stonyfield buys Brattleboro yogurt maker

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French owner of Stonyfield buys Brattleboro yogurt maker

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 2:00pm -- tim

The Commonwealth Dairy plant in Brattleboro produces Greek-style yogurt under the brand name Green Mountain Creamery. Courtesy photo.

Vermont Business Magazine Lactalis Group, based in Laval, France, and the largest dairy products firm in the world, has acquired Brattleboro's Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy, the US yogurt business of Ehrmann AG, the Bavaria, Germany-based dairy company. The acquisition was completed on July 5 and announced today. Established in 2009, Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy has two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that employ 250 people in Brattleboro, Vermont and Casa Grande, Arizona and manufactures and distributes yogurt and other dairy products under the Green Mountain Creamery and Liebe brands. It also features a strong private label business. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The Ehrmann acquisition is a terrific complement to our Stonyfield® and siggi's® brands in the US," says Thierry Clement, CEO of Lactalis North America. "Ehrmann's Vermont and Arizona plants are the ideal platform to develop our star brands, strengthen national distribution, and secure topflight quality and service for our private label customers." 

According to its Website, the milk used in Green Mountain Creamery yogurt is sourced from local dairy farms in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. The Arizona facility uses milk sourced local to that plant. All of the milk in GMC yogurt is from dairy cows that are not treated with artificial growth hormones and is Grade A and rBST free.

Commonwealth Dairy was founded in 2008 in Massachusetts, hence the name, by Thomas Moffit and Benjamin Johnson. They partnered with Ehrmann in 2009 and, along with incentives from the State of Vermont, opened the Brattleboro facility in 2011.

Stonyfield is an organic yogurt maker based in Londonderry, NH. According to CNBC, Stonyfield was acquired by Lactalis from French rival Danone in 2017 for $875 million as Danone needed to divest in order to buy the US organic food firm WhiteWave Foods. CNBC quoted RBC Capital as saying Stonyfield revenue was $360 million in 2016. It gets its milk from organic farmers in Vermont, across the Northeast and in the Midwest, including the Organic Valley (Wisconsin) cooperative.

"The capability we gain with Ehrmann's two plants, combined with the power of our leading brands, ensures the long term growth of the Lactalis yogurt business in the U.S., and underlines our commitment and ambition in the category."

Lactalis Group continues its strong growth strategy in the U.S. with its fourth acquisition in two years. With Commonwealth Dairy, Lactalis now has 8 factories and over 2,400 employees in the U.S., supporting leading brands like President®, Galbani®, Parmalat®, siggi's®, Stonyfield®, Karoun®, rondelé®, and Black Diamond®.

About Lactalis Group
Lactalis Group is a third-generation, family-owned business founded in France the in the 1930s. The company came to the United States in the 1980s and opened the first U.S. manufacturing facility devoted exclusively to French brie. Today, Lactalis Group is the world leader in dairy, with over 250 facilities around the world, and is committed to bringing consumers a broad range of products in all dairy categories. Learn more about Lactalis Group at www.lactalis.fr/en/

SOURCE BUFFALO, N.Y., July 8, 2019 /CNW/ -- Lactalis Group