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Serving: WI

Trega Foods Buyout Planned

Second announcement this week that Canadian cheesemaker plans to buy Wisconsin cheese plants

Cheesemaker Trega Foods agreed to be sold to Agropur, Canada's largest dairy cooperative.
Trega has plants in Weyauwega, Little Chute and Luxemburg.

President Doug Simon says the company is being sold to ensure its long-term viability.

Trega makes cheese and whey products including cheddar, feta, mozzarella, provolone as well as dairy ingredients with annual sales of $300 million.

All 320 Trega workers will be offered jobs at the same pay and benefits they now receive, Simon says.
"We will continue to supply the same customers. The plan is to continue to grow the business," he adds.
The sale to Montreal-based Agropur is expected to be finalized the end of February, Trega officials said Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

"We are increasing our presence in the United States, and this business transaction is in direct link with our development strategy," Agropur chief executive officer Pierre Claprood said in a news release.

The 69-year-old Agropur cooperative generated annual dairy sales of $2.3 billion. The dairy company has 3,939 members, 4,300 employees and 21 plants, as well as distribution centers across the country.

Agropur processes more than two billion liters of milk per year and sells brands that include Quebon, Oka, Sealtest and Natrel.

The announcement is the second this week that a Montreal cheesemaker intends to acquire Wisconsin cheese factories. Saputo Inc. said Wednesday it planned to buy Alto Dairy Cooperative for $160 million. Alto has plants in Alto and Black Creek. The Alto plant is the largest cheese plant in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation.

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