Michigan Milk Producers Association to acquire Superior Dairy

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The Superior Dairy facility in Canton, Ohio. Pic: Superior Dairy
The Superior Dairy facility in Canton, Ohio. Pic: Superior Dairy

Related tags: Dairy, Milk, M&A

The Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) dairy cooperative, based in Novi, Michigan, has announced it will acquire Superior Dairy in Canton, Ohio, a subsidiary of LEL Operating Company.

Under the terms of the acquisition, all of LEL Operating Company’s subsidiaries, Superior Dairy, Inc., Creative Edge Design Group, Ltd., and LEL Logistics, Inc., will become wholly owned subsidiaries of MMPA effective December 31, 2021. Ultimately, the new organization will launch a multi-state dairy manufacturing and innovation campus with four facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, employ a team of over 625 individuals, and service dairy farmers across the Great Lakes region.

Building on the partnership developed between the two organizations over the years, the MMPA said the acquisition will bring greater innovation, product diversity and efficiencies to the marketplace. With Superior Dairy under its umbrella, MMPA said it will be able to provide a greater focus on go-to market strategies more quickly than operating individually to meet the needs of customers and consumers while continuing to support farmers, employees and other stakeholders.

“MMPA’s relationship with Superior Dairy has accelerated over the last six years and we have mutually benefitted from our partnership. Bringing Superior Dairy into the MMPA family will enable us to better tap into their wealth of product development experience to bring value added processing capacity for our dairy farmer members,”​ said Joe Diglio, president and CEO of MMPA.

“Our partnership with MMPA and their members’ exceptional quality milk has been an integral part of our growth. By taking advantage of our combined manufacturing assets, we will continue our trajectory and the opportunities that this collaboration enables,”​ said Greg Soehnlen, president and CEO of Superior Dairy, Inc. and LEL Operating Company.

“The acquisition of Superior Dairy demonstrates how MMPA dairy farmer member-owners are committed to investing in innovation and technology for their future. This move ensures there is a reliable outlet for our farmers’ milk while securing their future within the dairy community,”​ said Doug Chapin, board chairman of MMPA and dairy farmer.

To generate long-term success of both organizations, the agreement provides for the repurposing and reutilization of each organization’s resources and current manufacturing facilities to better serve MMPA and Superior Dairy’s needs more collaboratively.

The Superior Dairy facility is located in Canton, Ohio. Superior Dairy, along with Creative Edge Design Group, Ltd., and LEL Logistics, Inc. will become wholly owned subsidiaries of MMPA effective December 31, 2021.

The MMPA serves dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, handling approximately 5bn pounds of milk annually. MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 certified manufacturing plants in Michigan and a cheese plant in Indiana. Products made at MMPA’s plants include cheese, ultra-filtered milk, butter, milk powder, cream and condensed skim milk.

LEL Operating Company is the parent holding company of Superior Dairy, Inc., Creative Edge Design Group, Ltd.  and LEL Logistics, Inc. Founded in 1922, Superior Dairy provides fluid milk products, cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream and chip dip.