LONGUEUIL, QC AND BURNABY, BC, Aug. 31, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Agropur Cooperative and Agrifoods International Cooperative Ltd. – two of Canada's leading dairy cooperatives – announced today that they have concluded an agreement pursuant to which Agropur will become the sole owner of Ultima Foods Inc.
Ultima Foods was a 50-50 joint venture by two of Canada's leading cooperatives; Agrifoods and Agropur. With more than 40 years of expertise in the yogurt business, Ultima Foods has been a consistent success in terms of market share and is known as a major innovator in the yogurt category. Today, Ultima Foods is renowned for its iögo and Olympic brands, which registered industry-leading growth in 2016.
Both cooperatives are very pleased with the transaction and excited for what lies ahead:
"I am very pleased with this transaction. Our partnership with Agrifoods has been exceptional and I want to thank our partner for its historical commitment in jointly developing Ultima Foods. This transaction continues along the course we have charted and will support our long-term development in the yogurt category," said René Moreau, President of Agropur. "We are always very proud when we are able to keep processing assets in the hands of Canadian dairy farmers."
"We are proud that our successful partnership with Agropur resulted in Ultima Foods becoming an industry leader with brands enjoyed by Canadians from coast to coast," said Tim Hofstra, President and Chair of Agrifoods. "This is a very positive transaction as it will create the optimal condition for Ultima Foods' development and will enable the company to remain in the hands of Canadian dairy producers."
"Our business relationship with Agrifoods has been very fruitful. Among other things, it led to the creation of the iögo brand, a launch that is considered a milestone in the history of Canada's food industry, and more recently the rebranding of Olympic. This transaction is a unique opportunity to develop and optimize our business model," said Robert Coallier, CEO of Agropur.
"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. "And we want to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to all of the staff and management at Ultima Foods whose continued hard work and dedication made this a reality."
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 $300 million. The transaction 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.
"Moving forward from today's transaction, Agrifoods is excited to enhance our focus on innovating and nurturing our family of brands and continuing our leadership role in the health and wellness industry in Canada," said Hofstra.
This transaction is subject to obtaining the usual authorizations, including those of the Competition Bureau.
Agropur Cooperative is a North American dairy industry leader founded in 1938. With sales of $6.0 billion in 2016, the Cooperative is a source of pride to its 3,345 members and 8,000 employees. Agropur processes more than 5.9 billion litres of milk per year at its 39 plants across North America and boasts an impressive roster of brands and products including Natrel, Québon, OKA, Farmers, Agropur Signature, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Island Farms, and biPro. Agropur's Quebec head office is certified LEED Silver.
Agrifoods International Cooperative Ltd. has proudly been in business for over a century and has grown to become one of Canada's leading cooperatives with over 2,400 members. The traditional values upon which Agrifoods was founded underlie its commitment for continual innovation in order to serve its valued customers' and consumers' changing needs. Agrifoods' brands – Organic Meadow, Meadowfresh, Earth's Own and Happy Planet – employ over 300 people and have become leaders in the health and wellness industry, producing a wide range of premium, on-trend, wholesome foods and beverages available from coast to coast. www.agrifoods.ca
For further information: Contacts : Véronique Boileau, Vice President, Communications, Agropur Cooperative, Phone: 450-878-1844; Ursula Klein, Manager, Member Services, Agrifoods International Cooperative, Phone: 604-296-3272