Swiss cheese and dairy company Emmi has strengthened its footprint in the South American market by increasing its stake in Brazilian dairy company Laticínios Porto Alegre from 40% to 70%.

Financial details of the transaction have not been divulged.

Based in Ponte Nova in the state of Minas Gerais, Laticínios Porto Alegre manufactures natural cheese, UHT milk, butter and whey powder for the Brazilian food industry.

In July 2017, Emmi acquired a 40% stake in the Brazilian dairy firm as part of its strategy to strengthen its market position in Switzerland and grow in international markets.

At the time of the initial investment, Emmi CEO Urs Riedener said: “Laticínios Porto Alegre is a healthy company that has also done an excellent job in recent years of economic difficulty.

“Its strong position provides Emmi with the possibility of complementing its product portfolio with innovative product and marketing concepts, thereby creating additional opportunities in a market with a great deal of potential over the long term.”

At the time of the initial investment, Laticínios Porto Alegre was one of the leading milk processors in Minas Gerais.

The acquisition of the majority of the shares is subject to approval by the local competition authority.

The remaining 30% stake in Laticínios Porto Alegre Indústria e Comércio will be held by its founding brothers José Afonso and João Lúcio Barreto Carneiro.

In 2018, Laticínios Porto Alegre achieved net sales of around BRL630m ($162m) and employed around 1,250 people.