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Swiss dairy fails to stay afloat

Swiss Dairy Food (SDF), the country's second largest dairy, went into receivership in September, unable to cope with competition.

The company, which processes 25 per cent of Swiss milk, is currently waiting for takeover offers.

It has debts of SFr800 million, and has only managed to keep operating because of a cash injection worth SFr160 million from the government and the banks.

The group, the result of a merger by Toni and Säntis, is seeking to sell off viable parts of the operation.

SDF said that the bank credit would enable it to keep production going - but up to one third of its 1,600 staff would lose their jobs.

The news of its receivership came as a severe blow to the approximately 7,000 farmers in Switzerland who reply on the dairy for income.

Geneva-based Laiteries Reunies is expected to offer to buy certain sites belonging to SDF. According to Laiteries Reunies, it will officially file its request by the middle of this week.

The group said it was primarily interested in sites in Bern, Lausanne and Zurich.

swissinfo

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