Dairy Crest Sold for £975 Million
New era of ownership
The deal will see all shareholders being given 620p in cash for each of their Dairy Crest shares. The production in their UK facilities is not expected to be affected in any immediate sense, with the brand continuing to manufacture as normal from existing sites.
Stephen Alexander is the Chairman of Dairy Crest. He says that the deal will help to grow the business in the UK. “The board is unanimously recommending this all-cash offer by Saputo to buy Dairy Crest at an attractive premium, which represents compelling value for Dairy Crest shareholders,” he said. “Dairy Crest is a leading UK dairy company and the proud manufacturer of Cathedral City, the largest UK cheese brand. Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world. Both companies have built strong positions in the cheese sectors in their respective home markets. The acquisition should enable Dairy Crest to benefit from Saputo’s global expertise and strong financial position to fulfil and accelerate its growth ambitions. The businesses have strong shared values and the board is confident that Saputo’s plans to invest in and grow the Dairy Crest business mean the proposed transaction is positive for all its stakeholders.”
Lino A Saputo Jr, as you may guess from his name, is the Chairman and CEO of Saputo. He said: “Dairy Crest is an attractive platform for Saputo and fits well within our growth strategy. We believe that, under Saputo’s ownership, Dairy Crest will be able to accelerate its long-term growth and business development potential and provide benefits to Dairy Crest’s employees and stakeholders. This recommended offer represents a compelling opportunity for Dairy Crest shareholders, providing immediate value certainty.”
Job security given
Saputo has announced that Dairy Crest will continue to be run by the existing senior management team and that they will retain employees as normal, meaning they won’t be needing to search for new jobs here. They have suggested that there will be “only limited rationalisation of employee roles following the acquisition, mainly targeted at corporate and support functions, notably those related to Dairy Crest’s status as a public listed company”.
Unite’s National Officer for the Food Industry, Sue Pollard, said: “Unite is cautiously optimistic that Saputo is seeking to develop Dairy Crest’s operation in the UK over the long-term. Unite is now seeking an urgent meeting with the senior management at Saputo to receive detailed information about the company’s plans and secure assurances about employment levels and a commitment to maintaining all existing plants.”
You can keep an eye out for new jobs at Dairy Crest (or Saputo) here. Saputo are certainly no small force in the dairy industry themselves: they produce, distribute, and market a wide range of dairy products to a high standard. This includes cheese, milk, cream, cultured products, and other dairy ingredients.
They are the largest cheese manufacturer and the leading milk and cream processor in Canada, as well as also being the top dairy processor in Australia and the second largest in Argentina. They will soon be able to add the UK to that impressive list. They are also ranked in the top three in the US for cheese producers and they are one of the largest manufacturers of cultured dairy products and extended shelf-life dairy products there.
They currently employ more than 15,000 people around the world at 62 sites.