Montreal – Canadian cheese maker, Saputo Inc., has acquired a U.S. company that makes dairy and non-dairy products.
Saputo will pay $1.45 billion for Morningstar Foods, a subsidiary of Dean Foods Company.
Morningstar produces a variety of dairy and non-dairy extended shelf-life products, including creams and creamers, ice cream mixes, whipping cream, aerosol whipped toppings, iced coffee, half and half, value-added milks, as well as cultured products such as sour cream and cottage cheese.
Morningstar manufactures these products under a wide array of private labels and owned brands, and sells them nationwide through its internal sales force and independent brokers.
Morningstar serves the needs of retailers, national quick-serve restaurant chains, grocery stores, mass merchandisers and distributors across the U.S.
Morningstar has approximately 2,000 employees and operates 10 manufacturing facilities located in nine states. It had the equivalent of $1.6 billion in revenue during the 12 months ended September.
By comparison, Saputo had about $1.7 billion of revenue in its second quarter alone from cheese, dairy and bakery operations in Canada, the U.S. and other countries.
Following the Morningstar acquisition, Saputo will have about 12,000 employees and 57 manufacturing plants in five countries.
Saputo says the acquisition will complement the activities of its Dairy Products Division (USA). The company will also benefit from Morningstar’s national manufacturing and distribution footprint and will be able to optimize coast-to-coast service.
A story in the MontrealGazette.com reports that Saputo had said it planned to expand in the U.S. but has downplayed speculation it might acquire the assets of the bankrupt company that makes Twinkies snack cakes.