Canadian dairy company Saputo announced this week that it had raised CAD 599 million (USD 375 million).
The structure of the new funding includes CAD 199 million via a private placement to Jolina Capital– a holding company controlled by Emanuele (Lino) Saputo– and Placements Italcan– a holding company controlled by Mr. Francesco Saputo—as well as CAD 400 million from a “bought deal” public offering.
Saputo’s press releases says the company “currently expects to use the net proceeds of the Offering and of the Concurrent Private Placement to repay outstanding indebtedness incurred in connection with completed acquisitions and for general corporate purposes,” adding that they are “part of the Company’s capital management strategy of reducing its long-term leverage over a reasonable period of time and are intended to provide the Company with further flexibility to pursue its growth strategy.”
However, some speculation has suggested that the company may be preparing for further acquisitions, such as the US’s Dean Foods, which is looking into “strategic alternatives” as struggles within the fluid milk category have hit its share price hard. However, Saputo reportedly said in June it was “absolutely not” interested in Dean, according to media outlet Dallas News.
Saputo’s acquisitions over the last 24 months have included a GBP 975 million deal for UK’s Dairy Crest (announced in February 2019) and the CAD 1.29 billion deal for Australia’s Murray Goulburn (announced in October 2017), as well as minor cheesemaking deals such as the purchase of Australia’s Lion-Dairy and Drinks (announced in April 2019), the US’s F&A Dairy products (announced in October 2018), Canada’s Shepherd Gourmet (announced in May 2018), and the US’s Montchevre (announced in November 2017).