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Müller to shut down dairy factories acquired from FrieslandCampina a year ago.

Müller to shut down dairy factories acquired from FrieslandCampina a year ago. FrieslandCampina, Muller Dairy Food and Beverage Business

German dairy group Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller has announced the closure of two domestic sites it acquired from Dutch peer FrieslandCampina a year ago. The facilities in Heilbronn and Schefflenz are deemed “not viable due to negative economic prospects” and will cease operations before the end of summer 2026. This decision will impact approximately 400 employees.

The original deal between Müller and FrieslandCampina, which included acquiring facilities and most products aimed at the German market, was announced in 2022. However, it was not until February of the following year that the transaction received approval, with the condition that Müller find a buyer for the milk-based brands Tuffi and Landliebe. As a result, Müller also had to close a factory in Cologne to comply with competition regulations.

Following the deal, German dairy co-operative Hochwald purchased the Tuffi brand from Müller in March of the same year. The two sites now marked for closure were part of the agreement that came into effect on March 1 of the previous year.

In a statement to Just Food, Müller revealed that production and distribution of the affected products will continue beyond 2026. However, the company cited high cost structures, lack of competitiveness, and a need for substantial investment at the Heilbronn site as reasons for the closures.

Cornelia Heiser, managing director responsible for the Landliebe business, explained that extensive economic analysis demonstrated that the two sites could not return to profitability under current conditions. The company plans to integrate the product portfolio into other German locations within the group. Talks with the works council will be initiated to find socially acceptable solutions for affected employees.

Considering the highly competitive nature of the dairy products market, Müller anticipates limited volume growth and cost efficiencies in the medium to long term. Despite the challenges, the company remains committed to ensuring a smooth transition for its employees and product portfolio.

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