Emmi is expanding its position in North America by acquiring 100% of the shares in the cheese business of J.L. Freeman, based in Boucherville, Canada.
J.L. Freeman is Canada’s leading importer of speciality cheeses – including Le Gruyere AOP, Emmentaler AOP, and Fondue among others – primarily from Switzerland, Italy and France. With this move Emmi said it aimed to make a step not only to strengthen its position in North America, but also to secure market access for its exports from Switzerland.
The company is securing direct access to an interesting market, extending the value chain of its speciality cheese exports to Canada and creating potential for the export of additional products from the Emmi Group, the firm added in a statement.
Emmi’s CEO Urs Riedener commented: “J.L. Freeman is an established, profitable company which has been working successfully with Emmi for almost 60 years. Its leading position in the import of speciality cheeses offers an excellent marketing opportunity for Swiss cheese varieties and specialities such as Kaltbach and Swiss Fondue”.
The acquisition, which will see the J.L. Freeman cheese business continue to operate independently, is planned for the first quarter of 2015 and is subject to authorisation from the Canadian government.