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Trends > Consolidation

Agropur takes over Agrifoods' share in Ultima Foods

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By Jim Cornall+

05-Sep-2017

Ultima produces the iögo brand yogurt in Canada.
Ultima produces the iögo brand yogurt in Canada.

Canadian dairy cooperatives Agropur Cooperative and Agrifoods International Cooperative Ltd. have concluded an agreement whereby Agropur will become the sole owner of Ultima Foods Inc.

Ultima Foods was a 50-50 joint venture by the two cooperatives.

With more than 40 years of expertise in the yogurt business, Ultima Foods is known for its iögo and Olympic brands.

Keeping company Canadian

René Moreau, president of Agropur, said the company was proud to be able to keep processing assets in the hands of Canadian dairy farmers.

"Agrifoods is proud to have been a partner in the successful creation of iögo and re-brand of Olympic," said Maheb Nathoo, CEO of Agrifoods Cooperative.

Ultima Foods employs approximately 660 people in Canada and operates two plants, in Granby, Quebec, and Delta, B.C. The acquired business has total annual sales of more than C$300m.

“This is great news,” Martin Parent, president of Ultima, said.

“This transaction will accelerate the growth of both iögo and Olympic Dairy brands and achieve the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves.”

In June, Ultima Foods, which produces 30% of the yogurt consumed in Canada, announced it was is investing C$14.4m (US$11.6m) to install a new drinkable yogurt production line and optimize operations at its Granby plant.

The yogurt maker is providing C$10.8m (US$8.7m), while Investissement Québec is contributing a C$3.6m (US$2.9m) interest-free loan.

The investment will create 35 to 40 jobs.

Subject to approval

The takeover will augment Agropur's range of products in the fresh dairy market and Ultima Foods will continue to be the only national Canadian-owned yogurt maker.

Agropur Cooperative, founded in 1938, has 3,345 members and 8,000 employees. The company processes more than 5.9bn liters of milk per year at its 39 plants across North America.

The transaction is subject to obtaining the usual authorizations, including those of the Competition Bureau.

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