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Upfield Group Acquires Plant-Based Cheese Maker Arivia

Purchasing Greece-based Arivia lets Netherlands-based Upfield to expand into the "fake" cheese market.

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AMSTERDAM β€” Upfield Group B.V., a producer of plant-based butter and spreads announced Thursday that one of its group companies, Upfield Europe B.V., has entered into a share purchase agreement with Arivia S.A.

Arivia is a producer of plant-based cheese and owner of the brand VIOLIFE. This strategic acquisition will enable Upfield to enter a new segment, presenting an additional growth opportunity for the company. VIOLIFE will become part of the Upfield brand family that includes names such as FLORA, RAMA, COUNTRY CROCK, BLUE BAND and PROACTIV.

The plant-based cheese market is growing at an increasing pace and on a global scale. VIOLIFE is already the number one plant-based cheese brand in the United Kingdom, and Arivia has also built a strong and fast-growing presence in the United States.

The combination of Arivia's brand and product proposition and Upfield's brand-marketing expertise, infrastructure and worldwide distribution network β€” including in the foodservice channel β€” will create a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth of the plant-based cheese segment globally. Arivia is headquartered in Thessaloniki, Greece, with a factory located in the north-east of the country.

"This acquisition is aligned with our growth strategy and mission to be the global authority in plant-based foods," commented Upfield Group B.V. CEO David Haines. "Consumers are increasingly demanding quality, natural and tasty alternatives to dairy products, and welcoming Arivia products into the Upfield family, will enable us to go further in meeting those demands, whilst growing our plant-based offering.

"The team at Arivia has worked for the past two decades to innovate and create great products that excel in taste, naturalness, and performance. They have done a tremendous job in building their brand in two of the leading markets for plant-based foods and we look forward to working with them to continue those successes around the world."

The company expects to close the transaction within 3 months following customary regulatory approvals.

"Our entire team is extremely pleased to become part of the Upfield family and pursue our common goals for more sustainable, higher quality and delicious alternatives to dairy products," added Arivia S.A. CEO Anthimos Misailidis. "Being firmly committed to growing consumer satisfaction, we are fully convinced that Upfield's global footprint, combined with Arivia's unique product offerings, will act as a catalyst towards increased availability of premium, plant-based products across all retail and food service outlets."

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