Montreal-based Saputo Inc. (Saputo) announced on December 18, 2000, that it has entered into a $407 million agreement to acquire the fluid-milk and cheese operations, as well as certain joint venture interests, of Agrifoods International Cooperative Ltd. (Agrifoods), commonly known as Dairyworld Foods. This acquisition will make Saputo Canada’s largest dairy with sales of $3.4 billion, 8,450 employees and 55 plants in Canada and the US. Saputo is already the biggest cheese maker in Canada and produces 36 per cent of the mozzarella sold in the US.
The debt-free transaction will be financed through bank indebtedness. The transaction is expected to close by the end of January, 2001.
Representing Saputo is a team from Stikeman Elliott’s Montreal office, led by Pierre Raymond, and including Patricia Brissette, Robert Carelli and Steeve Robitaille. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) is acting for Agrifoods, under the direction of John Irving, Senior Vice-President & General Counsel and DaLaura Kader, Corporate Counsel. The BLG team includes Francis R. Allen from the Toronto office, Kenneth M. Bagshaw, Q.C., Douglas G. Copland, Debra J. Finlay and Jonathan K.M. Jeske from the Vancouver office, and Patricia Gagnon of BLG’s Montreal office.