What happens when you squeeze a Laughing Cow? You get a bigger player in the healthy snacks market.
Last week, the Bel Group (maker of Laughing Cow snack cheeses) said it is in negotiations to acquire the MOM Group (maker of GoGosqueeZ yogurt and fruit snacks). Both companies are based in France.
Besides The Laughing Cow, the Bel Group owns Kiri, Mini Babybel, Leerdammer and Boursin. Bel Brands USA operates cheese plants in Leitchfield, Ky., Brookings, S.D., and Little Chute, Wis. The Brookings plant was named the 2016 Plant of the Year by Dairy Foods and its readers, and the Little Chute plant was selected in 2013. The Bel Group had sales of $575.2 million in the Americas and Asia/Pacific in 2015. It ranks No. 52 on the 2016 Dairy 100, Dairy Foods' list of the largest dairy processors in North America. Total Group sales were 2.9 billion Euros (about $3.1 billion).
The MOM Group is majority-owned by LBO France since 2010. It known in France for its Materne, Mont Blanc and Pom’Potes brands in the United States for its GoGosqueeZ brand of shelf-stable fruits and yogurts. MOM said it has doubled in size in the last five year to 362 Euro million ($386.3 million) in sales in 2015. The company employs 1,300 people and owns two production sites in France and two in the United States.
According to a Bel statement, “the deal would enable Bel and MOM to fashion together a major global player in the healthy snacks segment, founded on strong and innovative brands, and very highly complementary product ranges and territories.”