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George Weston sells Neilson Dairy to Saputo

By The Canadian Press   

News


October 22, 2008 – TORONTO – George Weston Ltd. has sold its Neilson Dairy business to Saputo Inc. for $465 million.

October 22, 2008 – TORONTO – George Weston Ltd. has sold its Neilson Dairy business to Saputo Inc. for $465 million.

Weston said Wednesday that the sale by its Weston Foods subsidiary
"allows Neilson Dairy to continue to grow with Saputo, Canada's largest
dairy processor."

Weston, whose other subsidiary is Loblaw Cos., Canada's largest
supermarket operator, said the transaction is expected to close Nov.
24, subject to approval by the Competition Bureau.

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Weston expects to book after-tax cash proceeds of $390 million on
the sale of Neilson, which produces an annual pre-tax operating profit
of about $50 million.

Ontario-focused Neilson Dairy, with 390 employees at plants in
Halton Hills and Ottawa, has $600 million in annual sales of fluid milk
and dairy products such as butter and yogurt, as well as juices,
non-dairy creamers and other grocery items.

Saputo said the $465-million cash price will be covered from available credit lines and additional committed financing.

Montreal-headquartered Saputo, which has 9,200 employees in five
countries, said it "will inherit Neilson Dairy's long-term
relationships with its customers" as it increases its presence in the
Ontario milk and cream market.


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