One of the world’s leading cheese manufacturers, Lactalis, has acquired the Glasgow-based McLelland Group, who make the ‘Seriously Strong’ cheddar brand.

The Lactalis portfolio, which includes President Brie, Emmental and Societe Roquefort, will now be enhanced by the McLelland cheese range, which includes Galloway, Mull of Kintyre, Orkney Island and Isle of Bute cheddars.

The Lactalis Group, which is recognised around the world, had sales of E5.35bn in 2003 and it employs 20,000 staff worldwide.

The McLelland Group recorded sales of £156m in the year to April 30 2004 with profits of £11.5m. The company’s ‘Seriously Strong’ cheddar brand is one of the fastest growing brands in the UK.

Andy Smith, managing director of Lactalis UK, said: “Lactalis UK has built up a strong reputation for professionalism in the marketing of great cheese brands, and the acquisition of McLellands extends the range of cheeses we can offer our customers in the retail and food service sectors.”

The Irvine brothers, Alastair and Douglas, joint managing directors of McLellands, said: “We considered a range of options as we sought to ensure the continuing development of McLellands, as we placed a great deal of focus on ensuring that our staff and the dairy producers who supply us with milk would benefit.”