Kraft to sell Canada natural cheese business to Parmalat

Mae Love
November 9, 2018

This Tuesday, November 6, the company announced an agreement to sell its Canadian natural cheese business-including Cracker Barrel, P'tit Quebec and aMOOza! brands-to Parmalat in a transaction valued at $1.62 billion CAD (approximately $1.24 billion USD).

The deal should close in the second half of 2019.

The deal will also include the sale of a processing plant in Ingleside, Ont. and its 400 employees.

With this sale, "we can focus on the categories where our brand is stronger and where we have a competitive advantage and growth prospects of the largest", stressed the CEO of Kraft, Heinz, Bernardo Hees.

The company also said it remains "steadfast in its commitment to the Canadian market", using its recent acquisition of a Vancouver-based coffee brand as an example. Evolve group's teams are located in Chicago and San Francisco, focused on creating digitally-powered business models and launching "other entrepreneurial ideas" to fuel the growth of Kraft Heinz.

In a release, Kraft Heinz said it will use the proceeds of the transaction primarily to pay down debt. Kraft Heinz directly employs 2,000 people in Canada.

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RBC Capital Markets served as exclusive financial advisor to Kraft Heinz Canada for this transaction, while Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP served as legal advisors.

In 2017, this division has achieved a turnover of 560 million canadian dollars, or approximately 374 million euros.

With more than 130 years of brand heritage in the Canadian dairy industry, Parmalat Canada is committed to producing great tasting, nutritious dairy products and supporting the health and wellness of Canadians through its iconic brands like Beatrice, Lactantia, Astro, Black Diamond and Balderson.

The company says the acquisition would help grow its business and include further investment.

In Canada, Parmalat has 3,000 employees, 16 dairy processing plants and a dedicated research and development facility.

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