Lactalis Canada buying Agropur's Canadian yogurt business

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Some of the Iögo, Iögo Nanö and Olympic brand products. Pic: Lactalis
Some of the Iögo, Iögo Nanö and Olympic brand products. Pic: Lactalis

Related tags Lactalis agropur Canada Milk Dairy Yoghurt Yogurt

Lactalis Canada Inc., formerly Parmalat Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Lactalis Group, has reached an agreement with Agropur Cooperative to acquire all shares of its Canadian yogurt business, Ultima Foods Inc.

The purchase includes the Iögo and Iögo Nanö brands, as well as the Olympic yogurt, sour cream and kefir brand.

The proposed transaction expands Lactalis Canada's yogurt portfolio of brands that already includes Astro, siggi's and Stonyfield with the addition of three homegrown yogurt names – Iögo, Iögo Nanö and Olympic.

"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,"​ said Mark Taylor, president & CEO, Lactalis Canada.

In addition to the brands, the transaction includes yogurt production facilities in Granby, QC and Delta, BC as well as the operations at a leased distribution centre in Longueuil, QC. Lactalis Canada will add approximately 450 employees from across the country who will join the company's existing 3,500 employees and 30 operating sites including 17 manufacturing facilities in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba.

"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,"​ Agropur president Roger Massicotte said.

“We have therefore decided to divest our yogurt operations in order to pursue our growth strategy and concentrate our investments.”

Yogurt accounts for 2% of Agropur's milk processing volume and 3% of its sales.

Taylor said, "Lactalis Canada's mission is to build on its family heritage to delight consumers with life-enriching dairy products, while making sustainable economic and social contributions that benefit its people, industry, partners and the communities in which it operates​.”

"In keeping with our mission, Lactalis Canada is confident that this transaction will positively support dairy farmers, retailers, consumers and the communities of Granby and Longueuil, QC as well as Delta, BC."

The acquisition is subject to approval by Competition Bureau Canada. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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