MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - Oct. 26, 2017) - Saputo Inc. ("Saputo" or "the Company") (TSX:SAP) announces today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the business of Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co. Limited ("Murray Goulburn" or "MG"), based in Australia.
The purchase price for the transaction is CDN$1.29 billion (A$1.31 billion) on a debt-free basis and will be financed through a newly committed bank loan. The transaction, which is unanimously recommended by the Murray Goulburn Board of Directors in the absence of a superior proposal, is subject to the approval of MG shareholders and customary conditions (including foreign investment approval and clearance by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and subject to an Independent Expert concluding that the transaction is in the best interest of MG shareholders. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2018.
MG produces a full range of high-quality dairy foods, including drinking milk, milk powder, cheese, butter and dairy beverages, as well as a range of ingredient and nutritional products, such as infant formula. MG supplies the retail and foodservice industries globally with its flagship Devondale, Liddells and Murray Goulburn Ingredients brands. Murray Goulburn has approximately 2,300 employees and operates eleven manufacturing facilities across Australia and China.
For the twelve-month period ended on June 30, 2017, MG had revenues of approximately CDN$2.5 billion (A$2.5 billion) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, milk supply support package forgiveness, rationalisation costs, write-downs and non-recurring costs ("adjusted EBITDA") of approximately CDN$78 million (A$79 million).
The acquisition of Murray Goulburn will add to and complement the activities of Saputo's Dairy Division (Australia). By acquiring a well-established industry player, the Company reinforces its commitment to strengthen its presence in the Australian market. Saputo intends to continue to invest in its Australian platform and contribute to the ongoing development of its domestic and international business.
Moelis & Company is acting as financial advisor to Saputo, while Ash St. Partners Pty Ltd and Clayton Utz are acting as legal counsel. National Bank Financial and BMO Capital Markets are co-lead arrangers and joint bookrunners.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable 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 the transaction, its risks, success and anticipated benefits, and 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 or future 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 2017 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.
To the extent any forward-looking statement in this document constitutes financial outlook, within the meaning of applicable securities laws, such information is intended to provide shareholders with information regarding the Company, including its assessment of future financial plans, and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Financial outlook, as with forward-looking information generally, is based on current estimates, expectations and assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and other factors.
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. Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world, the largest cheese manufacturer and the leading fluid milk and cream processor in Canada, one of the top three dairy processors in Argentina, and among the top four in Australia. In the US, Saputo 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 several countries under well-known brand names such as Saputo, Alexis de Portneuf, Armstrong, COON, Cracker Barrel*, Dairyland, DairyStar, Friendship Dairies, Frigo Cheese Heads, La Paulina, Milk2Go/Lait's Go, Neilson, Nutrilait, Scotsburn*, Stella, Sungold, Treasure Cave and Woolwich Dairy. Saputo Inc. is a publicly traded company and its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "SAP".
*Trademark used under licence.
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