DEAN Foods Co. has announced that it completed the sale of its Morningstar Foods division to Saputo Inc. for $1.45 billion.
Dean said it would assign proceeds to fully retiring senior secured debt, "significantly" decreasing its leverage and increasing its financial flexibility.
The two companies reported an agreement for the deal last month (Feedstuffs, Dec. 10, 2012).
Morningstar is a leading manufacturer of dairy and non-dairy cultured and extended-shelf life products, including cream and creamers, cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream mixes, whipping cream, aerosol whipped toppings and iced coffees, that are sold under a broad line of private labels to foodservice, grocer and other customers across the U.S.
The company has 2,000 employees and 10 manufacturing facilities in nine states.
Morningstar had 2011 sales that totaled $1.3 billion.
Saputo, headquartered in Montreal, Que., is the largest dairy processor in Canada and produces and sells a major platform of dairy products, including fluid milk, cheese, dairy ingredients, yogurt and snack cakes in Canada, the U.S. and more than 50 other countries.
The company said Morningstar will complement and expand its operations in the U.S., which are organized as Saputo Dairy Products USA -- the third-largest cheese maker in the U.S.
The company has 10,000 employees and 47 manufacturing plants in five countries. It reported fiscal 2012 sales that totaled $6.9 billion (Canadian).
Dean, with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, is the largest dairy processor in the U.S. and produces and sells fluid milk under more than 50 regional brands and private labels, as well as cultured dairy products, ice cream, juice, tea and other products. The company reported 2011 sales that totaled $13.1 billion.