Saputo strengthens position in UK dairy market with acquisition of Wensleydale Dairy

UK – Montreal-based Canadian dairy company Saputo has agreed to acquire the activities of UK cheesemaker Wensleydale Dairy Products for £23 million (US$31.84 million) to strengthen its position in the UK dairy market.  

The company operates two facilities in North Yorkshire reportedly uses its own ‘unique’ cheesemaking starter cultures to produce a variety of specialty and regional cheeses.

Saputo says that the Wensleydale Dairy Products range will complement and broaden its existing portfolio of British cheeses, which includes Cathedral City cheddars. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Lino Saputo, chair of the board and CEO, Saputo said: “Wensleydale Dairy Products is home to an immense amount of passion, care and tradition.” 

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“Not only is it a well-established British business with high-quality products and award-winning cheeses, but our corporate cultures are well aligned, and I’m delighted to welcome the entire team into the Saputo family.” 

The Wensleydale Dairy deal follows Saputo’s acquisition of Bute Island Foods, a manufacturer and distributor of vegan cheese for the retail and foodservice industries. 

Saputo, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, paid £109 million (US$150.85 million) to buy both Bute Island Foods and a factory owned by Wisconsin Specialty Protein in Reedsburg. 

According to a report by FoodBev, the newly acquired Bute Islands foods will manufacture Saputo’s newly launched vegan mozzarella-flavored cheese alternative. 

Earlier, Saputo released its financial results for the fourth quarter where revenues declined 7.5%  to CA$3.438 billion (about US$2.82 billion). 

Despite the plunge in profits, Saputo managed to report a profit of CA$103.1 million (US$83.42 million), up 16.2% when compared to the same period last fiscal year.  

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“Looking back on fiscal 2021, I’m incredibly proud of our performance and our resilience as an essential provider during such tumultuous times, which were the direct result of the heroic efforts of our team.” said Lino A. Saputo.  

During the financial release, Saputo also released its new Global Strategic Plan (the “Plan”) to accelerate organic growth over the next four years.   

In the strategic plan, Saputo is targeting high single-digit Adjusted EBITDA CAGR over the four-year period to reach $2.125 billion (US$1.75 billion) by the end of fiscal 2025. 

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