Dairy cooperative Swiss Valley Farms plans to merge into fellow co-op Prairie Farms Dairy, with the combined company operating under the Prairie Farms Dairy name.
While the deal still needs to be approved by both of the co-ops' members, the transaction is expected to close in the middle of this year. The deal will "expand sales opportunities for both cooperatives," they said.
Swiss Valley, headquartered in Davenport, Iowa, has five manufacturing plants that produce cheese and whey powder; they're located in Luana, Iowa; Shullsburg and Mindoro in Wisconsin; and Rochester and Faribault in Minnesota. The company also operates White Hill Cheese Co., Shullsburg, Wis., in a joint venture with Swiss dairy giant Emmi-Roth. Swiss Valley has 400 dairy producer members in Iowa, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and Southern Minnesota.
Swiss Valley Farms CEO Chris Hoeger will oversee the operation of the combined group's plants.
Prairie Farms, headquartered in Carlinville, Ill., has 35 manufacturing plants – most making milk, ice cream and cultured products – more than 100 distribution facilities and annual sales of more than $3 billion.