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Croatian Dukat Becomes Majority Owner of Ljubljanske mlekarne

Ljubljana, 18 March (STA) - Croatian dairy company Dukat became the owner of a majority stake in Slovenia's biggest dairy Ljubljanske mlekarne on Monday. This comes after a 50.3% share of the Ljubljana-based company was acquired in late 2012 by French Lactalis group that also includes Dukat.

Lactalis made a deal to acquire the majority stake in Ljubljnske mlekarne in October with five shareholders. The Slovenian competition watchdog approved the acquisition in February and Lactalis is now obligated by law to make a takeover bid.

The value of the deal has not been revealed, however the media reported it amounted to less than EUR 20m. It was only revealed that the bid from Lactalis was higher than EUR 6.5 per share offered by a rival group of Slovenian bidders, mostly dairy cooperatives.

The sale of Ljubljanske mlekarne to the French group caused a lot of criticism from the rival group of bidders, which hold a 36.41% stake in the dairy. Ljubljanske mlekarne employs 550 people and it processes more than 200 millions of litres of milk annually.

Lactalis said in autumn that the acquisition of Ljubljanske mlekarne would consolidate its presence in southeastern Europe, where Lactalis is already one of the main players on the milk and dairy market in the region.

A similar statement was issued by Dukat today. The company became a part of Lactalis in 2007. Lactalis employs some 56,000 people in 61 countries. It generated EUR 15.7m in revenues in 2012, 75% outside France.

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