New acquisition in Minnesota
Longueuil, December 16, 2008 –Agropur, Canada's largest dairy cooperative, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire Schrœder Milk, a milk processing company located in Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis/St.Paul. Closing of deal is scheduled for December 23, 2008.
"This most recent acquisition is in line with Agropur's growth strategy and is the first U.S. venture for Agropur Division Natrel, our fluid milk division. We plan to use it to build a strong foundation for continued growth," reported Agropur CEO Pierre Claprood.
The operation will continue under the name Schrœder Milk and will be overseen by the current president, Bob Kirchoff, who will report to the Vice-president, Business Development for Division Natrel, Ken Hume. "Production will continue, brands will be maintained, employees will keep their jobs, and corporate management will maintain its course", added Mr. Hume.
"We are excited to become part of the Agropur family, which is known as a growth-oriented, industry innovator," said Bob Kirchoff, Schrœder president. "This is a win-win for our employees and customers. By merging our resources with Agropur, Schrœder will be able to grow more quickly than we could by remaining independent. We also will benefit from Agropur's extensive product research and development capabilities, which will enhance our ability to bring new products to market for our customers."
About Schrœder Milk
Headquartered in Maplewood, Minn., Schrœder is a 124-year-old provider of dairy products, and contract and specialty food packaging. The company's state-of-the-art facilities produce a wide range of Schrœder-branded milk products for sale through retail grocers, including specialty beverages, juices and gourmet foods, as well as private label items. Schrœder's contract packaging business provides food and beverage manufacturers with expertise in Extended Shelf Life (ESL), Ultra High Temperature (aseptic/ tetra brick, shelf stable), organic products, Short Time (HTST) products and related quality assurance programs. Each year, about 225 employees process nearly 151 million litres of milk, which translates into US$123 million in sales.
Founded in 1938, the Agropur cooperative is the Canadian dairy industry leader, with $3 billion in annualized sales. It has 3,615 shareholders and, further to this latest acquisition, 5,000 employees distributed among its 27 plants and numerous distribution centres and offices across Canada, and in the U.S. and Argentina. It processes over 2.7 billion litres of milk annually and offers an impressive array of products, including such popular brands as Québon, Oka, Sealtest, Natrel, Island Farms, Yoplait, La Lacteo, Trega and Schrœder.