USA – The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Agropur-owned production facility in St. Paul, Minnesota to strengthen presence in the United States.

The acquisition will expand the farmer-owned cooperative’s extended shelf-life capabilities and introduce aseptic processing into its business portfolio.

The firms said that the transaction, which is subject to regulatory and customary closing conditions, will not affect the people working at the acquired facility, as employees will retain their current positions.

The existing management team will continue to manage all day-to-day operations,including customer relationships, milk procurement and production.

The facility manufactures a variety of fresh, extended shelf-life and aseptic dairy products for well-known grocery store chains and organic milk brands.

“This acquisition offers an opportunity to grow our customer base while strengthening our processing capabilities for existing customers and diversifies our product portfolio,” said Pat Panko, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for DFA’s Fluid Milk and Ice Cream Division.

Speaking on the transaction, Doug Simon, President of Agropur inc. said: “DFA is a tremendous organization with strong cultural and business ideations that marry well with those of Agropur’s cooperative roots.

Our focus has been and will always be meeting the needs of our customers and being strategic in our investments toward complementary growth areas.

This transaction is well aligned with long-term strategic plans for both parties.”

While the financial details were not disclosed, the transaction is expected to close in January.

The Canadian dairy cooperative in September announced the closure of its Saint-Damase cheese plant in Montérégie, putting 110 jobs at risk.

The company said the affected employees will be able to take advantage of available programs, including employment opportunities at other Agropur sites, severance packages, and the employee and family assistance program.

Agropur Cooperative is a North American dairy industry leader founded in 1938.

With sales of US$6.4 billion in 2017, has 3,290 members and employs 8,300 people.

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Agropur processes more than 6.1 billion litres of milk per year at its 39 plants across North America and boasts an impressive roster of respected brands and products,including Natrel, OKA, iögo, BiPro, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Olympic, Farmers, Island Farms and Québon.

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