Canadian Vending

Products Snacks
Saputo Inc. looks to change


April 29, 2008
By Canadian Vending Staff

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Dairy products giant Saputo Inc. envisions future acquisitions and will re-evaluate the future of its snack-cake division Culinar, its only non-dairy division, president and CEO Lino Saputo Jr. said. The Quebec-based company has a very low debt, which makes it easy to raise capital, Saputo said in an interview after a luncheon speech to the Canadian Club in May.

Dairy products giant Saputo Inc. envisions future acquisitions and will re-evaluate the future of its snack-cake division Culinar, its only non-dairy division, president and CEO Lino Saputo Jr. said.
The Quebec-based company has a very low debt, which makes it easy to raise capital, Saputo said in an interview after a luncheon speech to the Canadian Club in May.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure if any of the discussions    will materialize, but there will be acquisitions going forward,” he said.

Saputo said the company is interested in acquisitions involving dairy solids, milk powders, protein powders, speciality cheeses or commodity cheeses.

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The company already has operations in Canada, the    United States, Argentina and Germany, with about 8,500 employees.

What’s still to be determined by the Saputo organization is the future of its snack-cake bakery division Culinar, which it purchased in 1999 for $280 million. Culinar makes Vachon cakes such as Jos. Louis and Passion Flakie.

“That bakery business is not core for us. We’ve never hidden that fact. We are committed to a three-year plan in the bakery division. Again, I think we’ve come up with some great products, very innovative products that meet the demands and requirements of consumers.

“In three or five or 10 years from now where that division is would be anybody’s guess. Right now we're committed to the expansion of that division.”

However, the company will take “a hard look” at the Culinar division at the end of the next fiscal year, Saputo said.

Saputo is the largest dairy processor in Canada and one of the biggest cheese producers in North America, the third largest dairy processor in Argentina and the largest snack-cake manufacturer in Canada.
Its brand names include Armstrong, Alexis de Portneuf, Kingsey, Dairyland, Baxter, Nutrilait, Stella, Frigo, Dragone, Treasure Cave, La Paulina, Ricrem, DeLucia and Vachon.

SOURCE: Canadian Press


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