Tetra Laval International is the holding company and financial support and control function for the Tetra Laval Group and its three autonomous subsidiaries. The flagship Tetra Pak group designs and sells equipment used to process, package, and distribute liquid food products. DeLaval makes and sells equipment for dairy farmers, as well as milk production and animal husbandry products. Sidel manufactures glass, plastic, and metal container/packaging equipment. Worldwide the group has about 25 plants, more than 30 service units, with operations in almost 200 countries. Tetra Laval is controlled by the family of Ruben Rausing, inventor of the milk carton and founder of Tetra Pak.
Tetra Laval continues to pursue a course for each of its subsidiaries that includes coordination, acquisition, technology, and geographic growth. The company hopes to improve each of the subsidiary's value chains, not just their manufacturing, by homogenizing the operations within its subsidiaries to coordinate with each other as part of a larger operational process. Tetra Laval has encouraged these changes as a response to larger competitors in the market, resulting from recent industry consolidation.
Simultaneously, all three subsidiaries are digging out from under the Great Recession. Because Tetra Laval manufactures capital equipment, it was fully impacted due to its customers' cutbacks in their capital equipment investment -- orders were put on hold or cancelled. But even in the economic downturn, as opportunities presented themselves, Tetra Laval continued to make its own business acquisitions, and it remained dedicated to its research and development (R&D) in the creation of a new aseptic filler and a new line of blowers and labelers.
Along with R&D, the company has strengthened its global presence. It expanded its footprint on US shores with the acquisition of Carlisle Systems from the Carlisle Companies. Beyond US shores, it has constructed new factories and made improvements to other plants in emerging and promising regions such as China and Brazil. In addition to these countries Tetra Laval has its sights on countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central and South America, which are showing positive sales results. Many of the company's acquisitions pack a double benefit of augmenting Tetra Pak's products, as well as strengthening its global presence.
Tetra Pak is the largest subsidiary, representing more than 80% of total sales. This business processes liquid food and packages milk, juice, and other products such as ice cream, vegetables, and pet food. Sidel is the second largest subsidiary. It is primarily a supplier of capital equipment -- an area hard hit by the global recession. In response, Sidel worked to restructure operations and cut costs.
Third in line is DeLaval, which has been focusing on geographic growth. DeLaval has secured major orders for milking systems in such new markets as India and Pakistan, and it has been growing its presence in Russia, as well as North and South America. Though it has consolidated its operations, this segment is active in research and product development and has launched automated systems for increased production. DeLaval created the parallel platform through its large herd segment. The DelPro product, which positions cows in rotary stanchions, is selling well in the US and South America. – less