French dairy giant Lactalis acquires Tirumala Milk Products

Groupe Lactalis SA (Lactalis), the world's largest dairy group, has acquired Hyderabad-based Tirumala Milk Products Private Ltd for an undisclosed amount, becoming the latest foreign player to enter India's thriving market for milk and milk products.

Tirumala Milk ProductsFounded in 1996, Tirumala has grown to become the second largest private sector dairy group in South India with a processing capacity of 1.66 million litres per day at seven plants.

With 115 chilling centres located in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu, Tirumala Milk Products (P) Ltd procures and processes more than 1.2 million litres of milk per day directly from agents/farmers using state-of-the-art machinery and professionally trained staff.

It reported a turnover of Rs1424.11 crore in 2012-13.

Thirumala had, in 2010, raised equity investment from affiliates of global alternative asset manager, The Carlyle Group, First Carlyle Ventures III and First Carlyle Growth VII. 

''Tirumala has emerged a leader in the private sector dairy market in South India. This was possible due to our focus on quality. We are extremely happy to have partnered with Carlyle, who provided numerous value creation activities and acted as a catalyst in the growth of the company over the past few years. Tirumala is the partner of choice for Lactalis, and is well poised to emerge as a national brand with market leadership position,'' D Brahmanandam, managing director, Tirumala, said.

Carlyle India managing director Shankar Narayanan said Carlyle's investment in Tirumala has helped to create value for all stakeholders, adding that during Carlyle's investment, the company's revenues grew two-and-a-half times while profit more than quadrupled.

Lactalis has expanded rapidly since being founded in 1933, as a family-owned dairy group in Laval, in the west of France.

Today, the group employs 55,000 people, and owns more than 200 industrial plants around the world, in 35 different countries.

It is the ''number 1 dairy group in the world, number 1 dairy and cheese group in Europe, number 1 milk collector in Europe and number 1 cheese producer in Europe'', according to Lactalis.

With major brands like President, which is sold in more than 145 countries and represent more than 1.6 billion euros turnover and Galbani, which is sold in more than 100 countries with 1.4 billion euros turnover, Lactalis reported an annual turnover of 15.7 billion euros in 2012.

Lactalis now also owns a number of prestigious French and international brands.

The group's products are marketed in countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the French overseas departments and territories managed by the Lactalis International.