Lifeway Foods to acquire cheese producer

Related tags Milk

Lifeway Foods, a manufacturer of cultured, probiotic and functional
foods, has agreed to acquire a privately-held gourmet cheese
producer based in Philadelphia.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Lifeway​, America's leading supplier of the cultured dairy product known as kefir, said it expected to close the deal in the next 30-60 days. Lifeway said the unidentified company makes farmer's cheese as well as gourmet cream cheeses.

"This addition to Lifeway Foods provides the company with several strategic advantages with the most important being that it now gives us our own distribution system on the East Coast,"​ said Julie Smolyansky, the company's CEO. "This will allow us to more cost effectively distribute Lifeway's existing product lines to these large and important Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey markets."

Lifeway Foods reported first quarter revenue of $3.935 million, which was an increase of 18.9 percent compared to $3.309 million in the first quarter of 2003. Net income was $0.765 million or $0.09 per diluted share, compared to $0.993 million or $0.12 per diluted share for the same period last year.

Howard Halpern from brokerage firm Taglich Brothers issued a generally positive statement on the company last month, keeping a neutral outlook on the business.

"We are forecasting net income for 2004 of $2.680 million or $0.32 per diluted share and our initial net income forecast for 2005 remainsat $3.165 million or $0.37 per diluted share,"​ said Halpern

The deal comes a month after Lifeway said it would offer for the first time a line of no-sugar-added kefirs designed for consumers who follow low-carbohydrate diets.

Related topics Dairy-based ingredients

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