French dairy and juice firm Lactalis is in talks to buy Swedish co-op Skånemejerier.

Lactalis is carrying out due diligence on the business, which sells a range of dairy products and fruit juices. A spokesperson for Lactalis yesterday (15 November) confirmed that the company was in negotiations to buy Skånemejerier but declined to comment further.

Skånemejerier said the discussions would "most likely" lead to the sale of the company but said more information would not be available until the due diligence was completed and the co-op's members approved any deal.

The Swedish firm said it wanted to secure its members' milk production and the value of its trademarks. The company sells products including fruit juices under the Bravo brand.

In 2010, Skånemejerier reported net profit of SEK300.2m (US$44.6m), up sharply from SEK26.9m a year earlier. The jump in earnings was due to the proceeds of the sale of a majority stake in juice business ProViva to Danone.

Skånemejerier reported an operating loss of SEK52.1m as costs increased. Sales rose 10.8% to SEK3.31bn.