January 29/Montreal/Canadian Corporate Newswire -- Saputo Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the activities of Alto Dairy Cooperative (Alto), based in Waupun, Wisconsin. This agreement, which has been approved by Alto's board of directors, is subject to the approval of the cooperative's members at a meeting to be held on February 27, 2008.

The total consideration of $160 million on a debt-free basis will be paid in cash by drawing on available lines of credit. The transaction is subject to the usual conditions (including approval by the U.S. Anti-Trust authorities) and is expected to close in the course of March 2008.

Alto produces Italian- (mozzarella and provolone) and American-style cheeses (Cheddar varieties, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Fontina and Gouda), as well as whey products, which are marketed nationwide under a variety of brand names and private labels.

Alto has sales of $378 million and EBITDA of $19.6 million. It operates two plants respectively in Waupun and Black Creek, Wisconsin with a total of 467 employees.

This strategic transaction will enable Saputo Cheese Division to expand its business and represents a major step in its goal to achieve a stronger presence in the United States.

From the February 4, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash