Montreal, Que. – French multinational Yoplait has acquired St. Hubert, Que.-based Liberté yogurt, owned for the past six years by Brampton, Ont.-based Pineridge Foods Inc. The company did not disclose the terms of the acquisition.
Liberté produces a range of yogurts, including natural and organic varieties, as well as cheese products such as cottage cheese and cream cheese. It has three plants – in St. Hubert and Brossard, Que., and in Toronto – approximately 500 employees, and revenues of $175 million in 2009. The company currently has a five- to six-per-cent share of the yogurt market in Canada.
“It’s business as usual for Liberté, which has been a very successful independent yogurt company competing against major multinationals and has grown to be a national brand, selling throughout Canada and with a meaningful business now in the U.S.,” says Roger Dickhout, CEO of Pineridge Foods.
Paris-based Yoplait is the second largest yogurt company in the world. In Canada, the Yoplait brand is licensed to Ultima Foods Inc., a division of Longueuil, Que.-based Agropur.
According to Yoplait CEO Lucien Fa, “This acquisition illustrates Yoplait’s international investment strategy. Fresh dairy products are expected to enjoy sustained growth, especially outside Europe, and in particular through new consumer segments, and we intend to take advantage of these favourable trends.”