Dairy Crest set for £1bn takeover


Canadian dairy group Saputo is set to acquire Dairy Crest in a deal worth close to £1 billion.

Among a number of brands including Clover margarine and Country Life butter, Dairy Crest owns Cathedral City cheddar, which is made at its creamery in Davidstow.

This morning, Dairy Crest recommended that shareholders accept an offer from Saputo, which values the company at £975 million.

While Saputo is among the ten largest dairy companies in the world, it has no UK-based operation. In a statement, Saputo said that it intends to retain Dairy Crest’s existing senior management and employees. It also said it had no plans to change existing supplier agreements with farmers in Devon and Cornwall.

Dairy Crest recently revealed plans for a £75 million expansion at its Davidstow plant, which subject to planning approval from Cornwall Council, is expected to go ahead.

Dairy Crest chairman, Stephen Alexander, said: “The Acquisition should enable Dairy Crest to benefit from Saputo’s global expertise and strong financial position to fulfil and accelerate its growth ambitions.

“The businesses have strong shared values and the board is confident that Saputo’s plans to invest in and grow the Dairy Crest business mean the proposed transaction is positive for all its stakeholders.”