Saputo, a leading global dairy firm, has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire its Australian counterpart Murray Goulburn for a purchase price of A$1.31 billion ($1.0 billion) on a debt-free basis, subject to shareholder approval and regulatory clearance.
Murray Goulburn produces a full range of dairy products, including milk drinks, milk powder, cheese and butter, as well as a range of ingredient and nutritional products, such as infant formula. The firm, which operates on a co-operative basis, has approximately 2,300 employees and 11 manufacturing facilities across Australia and China. Its flagship brands include Devondale and Liddells.
Despite recording revenues of A$2.5 billion ($1.9 billion) in the year ending June 2017, Murray Goulburn reported an overall loss for the year of A$370.8 million ($283.5 million) and has recently been the subject of takeover speculation.
Commenting on the move, Murray Goulburn chairman John Spark said: “The board believes that the transaction represents the best available outcome for our suppliers and our investors. Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world and active in Australia through its ownership of Warrnambool Cheese & Butter (WCB). This transaction will crystallise real value for MG’s equity, whilst rewarding our loyal suppliers through the milk supply commitments”.
Source: Saputo / FoodBev