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Company that produces cheese in Cornwall set for takeover

Company that produces cheese in Cornwall set for takeover

Published by Emma Carton at 2:42pm 22nd February 2019. (Updated at 3:30pm 22nd February 2019)

Goodle Maps image of Davidstow creamery: Image capture, Google 2010

The company that makes Cathedral City in Cornwall looks set to be bought out.

Dairy Crest produces the cheese at its creamery at Davidstow, where it employs around 200 workers.

The board has recommended a takeover, by Canadian firm Saputo, to its shareholders.

Officials say the deal would be worth £975 million and "virtually" all its UK jobs would be saved.

However, the Unite union wants an urgent meeting with Saputo, to seek reassurances over jobs at at its Cornish plant.

"Unite is cautiously optimistic that Saputo is seeking to develop Dairy Crest's operation in the UK over the long-term.

"Unite is now seeking an urgent meeting with the senior management at Saputo to receive detailed information about the company's plans and secure assurances about employment levels and a commitment to maintaining an existing plants".

Unite national officer for the food industry, Sue Pollard

Dairy Crest, whose other brands include Country Life butter and Clover spread, saw shares surge by 12.9% after the bid was announced.

"The board is unanimously recommending this all-cash offer by Saputo to buy Dairy Crest at an attractive premium, which represents compelling value for Dairy Crest Shareholders.

"Dairy Crest is a leading UK dairy company and the proud manufacturer of Cathedral City, the largest UK cheese brand.

Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world. Both companies have built strong positions in the cheese sectors in their respective home markets.

"The Acquisition should enable Dairy Crest to benefit from Saputo's global expertise and strong financial position to fulfil and accelerate its growth ambitions.

"The businesses have strong shared values and the board is confident that Saputo's plans to invest in and grow the Dairy Crest business mean the proposed transaction is positive for all its stakeholders".

Chairman of Dairy Crest, Stephen Alexander

"Dairy Crest is an attractive platform for Saputo and fits well within our growth strategy.

"We believe that under Saputo ownership, Dairy Crest will be able to accelerate its long-term growth and business development potential and provide benefits to Dairy Crest's employees and stakeholders.

"This recommended offer represents a compelling opportunity for Dairy Crest Shareholders, providing immediate value certainty".

Chairman and CEO of Saputo Inc., Lino A. Saputo, Jr. 

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