MONTRÉAL, April 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Saputo Inc. (“Saputo” or “the Company”) (TSX: SAP) announces today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the specialty cheese business (the “Specialty Cheese Business”) of Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd. The Specialty Cheese Business is conducted at two manufacturing facilities located in Burnie and King Island, Tasmania (Australia) and employs approximately 400 people.

The purchase price of A$280.0 million (approximately CDN$265.0 million), on a cash-free and debt-free basis, will be paid in cash at closing from cash on hand and available credit facilities.

The Specialty Cheese Business produces, markets and distributes a variety of specialty cheeses under a wide portfolio of Australian brands, including South Cape, Tasmanian Heritage, Mersey Valley and King Island Dairy. For the twelve-month period ended on December 31, 2018, the Specialty Cheese Business generated revenues of approximately A$192 million (CDN$182 million).

The Specialty Cheese Business will enable Saputo’s Dairy Division (Australia) to further diversify its product offering, adding to and complementing its current activities.

The transaction is subject to foreign investment approval and clearance by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2019.

About Saputo

Saputo produces, markets, and distributes a wide array of dairy products of the utmost quality, including cheese, fluid milk, extended shelf-life milk and cream products, cultured products and dairy ingredients. Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world, the largest cheese manufacturer and the leading fluid milk and cream processor in Canada, the top dairy processor in Australia and the second largest in Argentina. In the USA, Saputo ranks among the top three cheese producers and is one of the largest producers of extended shelf-life and cultured dairy products. In the United Kingdom, Saputo is the largest branded manufacturer of cheese and a top manufacturer of dairy spreads. Our products are sold in several countries under well-known brand names such as Saputo, Alexis de Portneuf, Armstrong, Cathedral City, Clover, COON, Cracker Barrel*, Dairyland, DairyStar, Devondale, Friendship Dairies, Frigo Cheese Heads, La Paulina, Milk2Go/Lait’s Go, Montchevre, Murray Goulburn Ingredients, Neilson, Nutrilait, Scotsburn*, Stella, Sungold, Treasure Cave and Woolwich Dairy. Saputo Inc. is a publicly traded company and its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “SAP”.

*Trademark used under licence.

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements are based, among other things, on Saputo’s assumptions, expectations, estimates, objectives, plans and intentions as of the date hereof regarding projected revenues and expenses, the economic, industry, competitive and regulatory environments in which the Company operates or which could affect its activities, its ability to attract and retain customers and consumers, as well as the availability and cost of milk and other raw materials and energy supplies, its operating costs and the pricing of its finished products on the various markets in which it carries on business.

These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements with respect to the Company’s short and medium-term objectives, outlook, business projects and strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to the Company’s beliefs, plans, objectives and expectations. The words “may”, “should”, “will”, “would”, “believe”, “plan”, “expect”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “foresee”, “objective”, “continue”, “propose” or “target”, or the negative of these terms or variations of them, the use of conditional or future tense or words and expressions of similar nature, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to a number of inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from the conclusion, forecast or projection stated in such forward-looking statements. As a result, the Company cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statements will materialize. Assumptions, expectations and estimates made in the preparation of forward-looking statements and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations are discussed in the Company’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time, including the “Risks and Uncertainties” section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis included in the Company’s 2018 Annual Report.

Forward-looking statements are based on Management’s current estimates, expectations and assumptions, which Management believes are reasonable as of the date hereof, and, accordingly, are subject to changes after such date. You should not place undue importance on forward-looking statements and should not rely upon this information as of any other date.

To the extent any forward-looking statement in this document constitutes financial outlook, within the meaning of applicable securities laws, such information is intended to provide shareholders with information regarding the Company, including its assessment of future financial plans, and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Financial outlook, as with forward-looking information generally, is based on current estimates, expectations and assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and other factors.

Except as required under applicable securities legislation, Saputo does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether written or verbal, that may be made from time to time by itself or on its behalf, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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