MONTREAL — Saputo, a Montreal-based cheese producer, is increasing its presence in the U.S. by acquiring the Dallas -based dairy producer Morningstar Foods, LLC (a subsidiary of Dean Foods Company) for $1.45 billion.
The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of December, will add 10 manufacturing facilities — which produce a variety of dairy and non-dairy extended-shelf-life products, including creams and creamers, ice-cream mixes, whipping cream as well as cultured products such as sour cream and cottage cheese — to the company’s portfolio.
Lino Saputo Jr., CEO and vice-chairman of the Saputo Board, told The Financial Post the transaction diversifies the company’s offerings, by producing extended-shelf-life products in addition to dairy products. “The consumers of course, are going more towards fresh products — I consume regular pasteurized milk in my home, which has an 18-day shelf-life. But when you look at the distribution network and trade, there are a lot of high-quality extended shelf-life products that benefit the distribution network,” he said.
According to The Financial Post, with data from Bloomberg, this marks the largest dairy takeover this year, globally. After the acquisition is completed, the combined business will have approximately 12,000 employees and 57 manufacturing facilities in five countries.