Saputo signs deal to sell two milk processing plants in Australia to Coles Group
Saputo Inc. has signed a deal to sell two milk processing plants in Australia to supermarket giant Coles Group Ltd. for about $95 million.
The Canadian dairy giant says the fresh milk processing facilities are in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales.
Saputo says the deal is expected to close in the second half of the year and is subject to customary conditions, including clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Coles Group includes grocery stores, liquor stores, fuel and convenience retailers, a loyalty program and financial services.
Saputo says the sale will help streamline its operations and allow it to reinvest in other areas of its business.
CEO Lino Saputo says the company is continually working to ensure it has the right manufacturing footprint and product offering to enhance its position as a high-quality, low-cost processor.
"This marks an important step in executing our long-term vision for success in Australia as we maintain a sharp focus on efficiency to ensure we maximize the return on every litre of milk,'' he said in a statement.
Australia deregulated its dairy market and eliminated support prices and quotas in 2000.
According to Saputo's website, the company first entered Australia in 2014, acquiring a majority interest in the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co. Holdings Ltd.