The acquisition of Downer EDI's process engineering groups Downer MBL Pty and Downer MBL, for an undisclosed sum, will help develop Tetra Pak's complete production solutions for cheese and dairy powder. Tetra Pak hopes it will add new process engineering, materials handling and project management expertise for evaporation, drying, powder handling and whey processing. "The acquisition of Downer MBL strengthens our end-to-end processing solutions for cheese and dairy powder by providing us with additional resources, knowledge and competence," said Sam Stromersten, president of Tetra Pak. "In addition, our expanded presence in Oceania will help strengthen our global customer partnerships as the New Zealand powder industry is considered one of the benchmarks for innovative powder solutions worldwide." Tetra Pak is broadly recognised as a leading light in the world of food processing and packaging solutions. It has a presence in 150 countries, and boasts 42 packaging material plants. Downer MBL Specialised food process engineering division Downer MBL is base in Hamilton, New Zealand. It currently serves the food and dairy markets in Oceania and Asia and focuses on new plant sales, plant relocation, upgrades and development, and implementing materials handling solutions for the food, dairy, beverage and related sectors. The partnership between Downer MBL and Tetra Pak has spanned 16 years, as Downer has served as both a sales agent and production solutions partner to Tetra Pak in Oceania. Geoff Wilson, general manager for Downer, said: "We believe that our process engineering and project management expertise will create further opportunities with Tetra Pak's food processing solutions worldwide. This next step is a natural progression in the development of our respective companies." In 2007, Downer EDI had an after tax profit of $101.5m (€63.7m), and a turnaround of $126.4m (€79.4m). Tetra Pak business activities Sales at the packaging group reached €8.7bn in 2007, a 6.1 per cent increase on the previous year. It said that a focus on emerging markets such as India, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil, the Middle East, Latin America and China had been the principal reason for the strong sales growth. This year Tetra Pak also expects to complete the construction of a new packaging material plant in Huhhot, China, to support growth in the dairy and beverage industries there. This plant comes with a price tag of €60m. In May, the company invested €26m for an upgrade of its Italian packaging materials plant that will significantly increase its printing and lamination capacity, and boost the quality and speed of its service. And in March, Tetra Pak teamed up with one of the leading dairy processors in Luxemburg as part of a €100m scheme to construct a state of the art, environmentally efficient production site, the company has said.