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UK: Saputo continues M&A spree with UK cheese maker

Wensleydale Dairy Products’ activities to be bought in £23m deal that will support the dairy giant’s UK business
Saputo continues its recent M&A spree with UK-based cheese maker Wensleydale Dairy Products

Saputo has entered into an agreement to acquire the activities of UK cheese maker Wensleydale Dairy Products for £23 million in cash, as the dairy behemoth grows and diversifies its UK business.

Wensleydale’s 210 employees and two facilities will be integrated into Saputo’s UK dairy division, which sits under the company’s European arm.

Saputo said it believed Wensleydale’s specialty and regional cheese would “complement and broaden” the company’s existing range of British cheeses, including its Cathedral City cheddar brand.

CEO Lino Saputo said: “Wensleydale Dairy Products is home to an immense amount of passion, care, and tradition.

“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,” he added.

The deal is expected to close at the end of July.

In June, Saputo told analysts that M&A remained a key priority for the group, and that it was eyeing up to four potential deals at the time.

“We still have a very strong appetite to look at businesses that make us bigger, better and stronger. Whether that be bolt-on acquisitions through our current platforms or new ones,” Saputo said.

In the same month, the company acquired UK-based plant-based dairy-alternative cheese maker Bute Island Foods for around £109.5 million.

Saputo has since relaunched Bute Island’s vegan cheese products under its Vitalite brand.

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