Lactalis Group (“Lactalis”), the world’s leading dairy group, today has entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition by its U.S. affiliate of Kraft Heinz’s Natural, Grated, Cultured and Specialty cheese businesses in the U.S., Grated cheese business in Canada and entire International Cheese business outside North America.
With this acquisition, Lactalis will acquire a portfolio of iconic, strongly-positioned brands that include Cracker Barrel, Breakstone’s, Knudsen, Polly-O, Athenos, Hoffman’s and, outside the U.S. and Canada only, Cheez Whiz. In addition, Kraft Heinz will partner with Lactalis on a perpetual license for Kraft in Natural, Grated and International cheeses and Velveeta in Natural and International cheeses.
Under the terms of the transaction, Lactalis will acquire three world-class Kraft Heinz production facilities located in Tulare, CA, Walton, NY and Wausau, WI, and a distribution centre in Weyauwega, WI. Approximately 750 Kraft Heinz employees will be joining Lactalis, and the company expects to add additional American jobs to support this business following the closing of the transaction which is expected in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
Said Thierry Clément, CEO of Lactalis North America: “The people of Kraft Heinz have built an extraordinary portfolio of high-quality cheese products and brands that consumers love and trust – and we are honoured to have been chosen by Kraft Heinz to help carry this legacy forward. This combination of complementary offerings is a clear strategic and cultural fit that will create important new opportunities for domestic and international expansion, product innovation, and positive community and employee impact. We look forward to working with and learning from our new colleagues, building on our proud histories together and continuing our collaborative strategy for expansion: to invest, to include, to support, and to grow.” For more visit businesswire.com/news/home/20200915006042/en/Lactalis-Group-Announces-Agreement-to-Acquire-Kraft-Heinz%E2%80%99s-Natural-Cheese-Division