Albalact invests 4 mln euros in dairy farms

Dairy producer Albalact Alba Iulia (ALBZ), controlled by Ciurtin family, plans to double this year their dairy farms output capacity and to move the entire cheese production to Raraul factory, acquired by them last year, the programmed investments to this end being of some 4 million euros.
This information is contained in the investment fund quarterly report of RC2, which controls more than 25 percent of the dairy producer’s stock, Ziarul financiar daily reports.
Albalact management is to focus this year on sales boost, distribution and logistics upgrading. In April, the company finalized the investment in a logistics center in Bucharest, which is to have a significant impact on the presence of Albalact products on the shelves, RC2 quarterly report reads.
Albalact is the producer of Zuzu and Fulga brands. The company will continue to invest in the development of the dairy farms, staking on a production capacity twice as much as up to now, to 30,000 liters/day from 12,000 liters/day. The investment cost is 2 million, of which 1 million euro to be provided from non-repayable European funds.
After last year it acquired a stake of 77 percent in Raraul cheeses and dairy producer, based on a transaction of 3.7 million euros, Albalact is to concentrate this year on the integration of Raraul businesses. One of the first measures taken by Albalact management at Raraul was a 25 percent cut in the number of staff.
Albalact is the first investment of the Cypriot fund locally, which has entered the dairy producer’s shareholdership in 2006 through the acquisition on the Stock exchange of a minority share package. A year later, in 2007, when the exchange reached historical maximums, the sale of a 7.6 percent stake in Albalact multiplied four-fold RC2 investment. The dairy producer has become as such the most profitable investment domestically, according to RC2 representatives.
Starting 2008, when the shares went much cheaper under the crisis impact, RC2 steadily acquired Albalact equity, climbing from a participation of almost 10 percent in 2008 to 25.3 percent at the end of March 2009. Ciurtin family controls some 48 percent of Albalact, the remainder being held by some other shareholders.
At the end of March, RC2 participation in Albalact valued 7.4 million euros, under conditions in which the investment cost reached 13.3 million euros and the 7.6 percent participation, sold by RC2 in 2007, generated a profit of 8 million euros, according to the report.


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