UPDATE 1-Saputo to buy Morningstar from Dean Foods for $1.45 bln
Dec 3 (Reuters) - Canadian dairy products maker Saputo Inc said it had agreed to buy Dean Foods Co's Morningstar dairy division for $1.45 billion to widen its manufacturing and distribution footprint and product offerings in the United States.
Montreal-headquartered Saputo was competing with U.S.-based Michael Foods in the final stages of the auction for Morningstar, Reuters reported last week, as Dean Foods, the largest U.S. dairy company breaks up.
The purchase price for the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, is $1.45 billion on a debt-free basis and will be financed through a newly committed bank loan, Saputo said in a statement on Monday.
Saputo added that it expected the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings.
The combined business will have approximately 12,000 employees and 57 manufacturing facilities in five countries. Morningstar makes creams, coffee creamers and other dairy products mostly under private label or store brands, and sells Friendship cottage cheese.