Irish Dairy Board agrees to sell Belgian cheese-packing operation

The Irish Dairy Board has agreed to sell its Belgian continental cheese-packing operation, IDB Belgium, to the Dutch agri co-op Royal FrieslandCampina.

The Genk-based facility has a yearly turnover of €100m. Its production focus on Dutch type cheeses such as Emmenthal and Gouda will better suit the company, with the IDB likely to make further strategic overseas acquisitions as part of its post-2015 dairy expansion plans.

IDB chief executive Kevin Lane said: “The sale of our continental cheese-packing business to Royal FrieslandCampina is another significant strategic step for the Irish Dairy Board.

“The divestment will unlock additional capital to develop more focused routes to market for Irish product at a time when Belgium’s potential can best be realised with the support of a local dairy partner.

“Royal FrieslandCampina can bring greater synergy benefits to the Belgian business as well as presenting partnership opportunities with the Irish Dairy Board in the future.”

Subject to regulatory approval, the Irish Dairy Board disposal will be completed by July 31.

The 140 or so staff in Genk will transfer to Royal FrieslandCampina.

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