Agropur takes full control of yogurt maker Ultima Foods

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04 Sep 2017 --- Agropur is set to become the sole owner of Ultima Foods Inc. following an agreement between two of Canada's leading dairy cooperatives, Agropur and Agrifoods International Ltd. Ultima Foods was previously a 50-50 joint venture of Agrifoods and Agropur. With more than 40 years of experience in the yogurt business, Ultima Foods has been a consistent success in terms of market share and innovation within the yogurt category.

Currently, Ultima Foods is renowned for its iögo and Olympic brands, which registered industry-leading growth in 2016.

Both cooperatives are happy with the transaction and excited for what lies ahead: “Our partnership with Agrifoods has been exceptional and I want to thank our partner for its historical commitment to jointly developing Ultima Foods. This transaction continues along the course we have charted and will support our long-term development in the yogurt category,” says 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,” says 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 US$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.

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