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Saputo enters U.K. market

Saputo Inc. has expanded its global presence as it entered the British dairy market with the closing of a $1.7-billion deal to acquire Dairy Crest Group plc.

The transaction announced Feb. 22 was payable in cash from a new bank loan.

Dairy Crest manufactures and sells cheese, butters, spreads and oils under British brands such as Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight.

The company has about 1,100 employees in seven locations across the United Kingdom.

For the 12 months ended March 31, it had about $796 million in revenue and $260 million in after-tax profits, including $172 million in exceptional items.

Saputo says it has invested in a "well-established and successful industry player with a solid asset base and an experienced management team."



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