MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 2, 2015) - Saputo Inc. ("Saputo") (TSX:SAP) announces today that its Australian subsidiary, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Limited ("WCB"), has entered into an agreement to acquire the everyday cheese business ("EDC Business") of Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd ("Lion") based in Victoria, Australia.
The purchase price of CDN$134.4 million (A$137.5 million), on a debt-free basis, includes CDN$104.1 million which represents the value of inventory net of a minimal amount of assumed liabilities, and is subject to the final determination of the inventory amount and assumed liabilities amount at closing. The purchase price is payable in cash at closing. The transaction is subject to usual conditions and is expected to close towards the beginning of May 2015. The transaction is also subject to the approval of WCB shareholders. Saputo, which holds 87.92% of the shares in WCB is supportive of the transaction and has advised WCB that it will vote its shares in favour of the transaction.
The EDC Business' operations include cutting and wrapping, distribution, sales & marketing and intellectual property associated with the COON, Cracker Barrel, Mil Lel and Fred Walker brands. The EDC Business generates annual sales of approximately CDN$156 million (A$160 million) and employs approximately 170 people. The cut and wrap operations of the EDC Business are located in a building owned by WCB, which is adjacent to WCB's cheese manufacturing facility at Allansford.
The transaction will enable WCB to increase its presence in consumer branded everyday cheese products segment in Australia with strong market positions in this segment, and is consistent with Saputo's stated strategy to invest in WCB to accelerate its growth in Australia.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. These statements are based, among other things, on Saputo's assumptions, expectations, estimates, objectives, plans and intentions as of the date hereof regarding projected revenues and expenses, the economic, industry, competitive and regulatory environments in which the Company operates or which could affect its activities, its ability to attract and retain customers and consumers, as well as the availability and cost of milk and other raw materials and energy supplies, its operating costs and the pricing of its finished products on the various markets in which it carries on business.
These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements with respect to the Company's short and medium term objectives, outlook, business projects and strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to the Company's beliefs, plans, objectives and expectations. The words "may", "should", "will", "would", "believe", "plan", "expect", "intend", "anticipate", "estimate", "foresee", "objective", "continue", "propose" or "target", or the negative of these terms or variations of them, the use of conditional tense or words and expressions of similar nature, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to a number of inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from the conclusion, forecast or projection stated in such forward-looking statements. As a result, the Company cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statements will materialize. Assumptions, expectations and estimates made in the preparation of forward-looking statements and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations are discussed in the Company's materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time, including the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis included in the Company's 2014 Annual Report.
Forward-looking statements are based on Management's current estimates, expectations and assumptions, which Management believes are reasonable as of the date hereof, and, accordingly, are subject to changes after such date. You should not place undue importance on forward-looking statements and should not rely upon this information as of any other date.
Except as required under applicable securities legislation, Saputo does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether written or verbal, that may be made from time to time by itself or on its behalf, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Saputo produces, markets, and distributes a wide array of dairy products of the utmost quality, including cheese, fluid milk, extended shelf-life milk and cream products, cultured products and dairy ingredients. We are one of the top ten dairy processors in the world, the largest in Canada, the third in Argentina and the fourth in Australia. In the US, the Company ranks among the top three cheese producers and is one of the largest producers of extended shelf-life and cultured dairy products. Our products are sold in more than 40 countries under well-known brand names such as Saputo, Alexis de Portneuf, Armstrong, Baxter, Dairyland, Dragone, DuVillage 1860, Friendship, Frigo Cheese Heads, Great Midwest, King's Choice, Kingsey, La Paulina, Milk2Go, Neilson, Nutrilait, Ricrem, Salemville, Scotsburn, Stella, Sungold and Treasure Cave. Saputo Inc. is a publicly traded company whose shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "SAP".
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Director, Corporate Communications