Lactalis to buy Agropur's yogurt business

Two of the largest dairy processors in Canada have announced a deal that will see several yogurt brands change hands.

Lactalis Canada, the company formerly known as Parmalat, has signed an agreement to acquire Agropur Cooperative’s Canadian yogurt business, which includes the Iögo and Iögo Nanö yogourt brands, as well as the Olympic yogurt, sour cream, and kefir brand.

The transaction includes yogurt production facilities in Granby, QC, and Delta, B.C., as well as the operations at a leased distribution centre in Longueuil, QC. There are 450 employees across the country.

Lactalis, which is a subsidiary of France-based Lactalis Group, already produces and sells yogurt in Canada under the Astro, siggi’s and Stonyfield brands.

“As a broadly-based dairy products company in Canada, producing and supplying a wide variety of popular brands, this transaction will reinforce Lactalis Canada’s position in the dairy category and will help enable key customer partners in both the retail and foodservice channels meet the growing consumer demand for yogurt products,” says Mark Taylor, president and CEO, Lactalis Canada.

Agropur says yogurt accounts for two per cent of its milk processing volume and three per cent of its sales.

“Current market conditions, increasingly aggressive competition and our desire to streamline our business model have prompted us to focus on our most strategic lines of business,” notes Agropur president Roger Massicotte. “We have therefore decided to divest our yogurt operations in order to pursue our growth strategy and concentrate our investments.”

Financial terms of the deal were not announced. It is still subject to the usual closing conditions, including regulatory approval by the Competition Bureau.

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