CANADA – Canadian dairy processor, Dairy Crest has announced that Mark Allen is stepping down as Chief Executive of Dairy Crest after successful completion of the takeover.

Also, Mr. Tom Atherton, Dairy Crest Deputy Chief Executive and Group Finance Director has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Saputo’s Dairy Division in the UK.

The changes take effect immediately and Allen will remain with the company to ensure a transition to Atherton until July 2019.

Mr. Atherton has worked for Dairy Crest since 2005.

He was appointed as an Executive Director and Group Finance Director in 2013 and has also held the position of Deputy Chief Executive since January 2018.

In his role, he has been instrumental in determining the strategic direction of Dairy Crest.

Previously, Mr. Atherton held senior management positions within publicly listed companies in the United Kingdom.

He will report to Mr. Kai Bockmann, President and Chief Operating Officer, Saputo Inc. and International Sector.

Saputo completed the acquisition of Dairy Crest last month in a transaction that valued the company at US$1.2 billion.

Based in Esher, United Kingdom, Dairy Crest makes cheese, butters, spreads and oils under leading British brands, such as Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight, employing approximately 1,100 people.

In the year ended March 31, 2018, Dairy Crest had revenues of approximately £456.8 million (US$596.46 million) and £149.5 million (US$195.21 million) in profit after tax.

The company sold its dairy unit comprising of ready-to-drink flavoured milk brand Frijj, cream, bulk butter and milk powders, to Müller for US$104.42 million in 2015.

Saputo has also agreed to acquire the specialty cheese business of Australia’s Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd for US$196.9 million.

Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world and the leading cheese manufacturer and milk processor in Canada.

It is also the biggest dairy processor in Australia, the second largest in Argentina, and has a strong presence in the US.

The Dairy Crest deal strengthens its position in the European dairy market after buying Australia’s dairy business Murray Goulburn for US$1 billion.