Kraft Heinz to Sell Canadian Natural Cheese Business to Parmalat

Kraft Heinz's sale includes Cracker Barrel P’tit Quebec and aMOOza! brands

Kraft Heinz Co is to sell its Canadian natural cheese business to Italian dairy group Parmalat SpA in a deal valued at C$1.62 billion as the USA food giant looks to pay down its debt load. Kraft Cheese has been a household name for a century and is now known by names such as Cracker Barrel, P'tit Quebec and Amooza.

In another press release, Kraft, Heinz stressed that he would remain owner of other brands such as Philadelphia, Cheez Whiz and Kraft Singles, produced in Quebec. After announcing the results of the company's third quarter fiscal 2018, Kraft Heinz was beset by activist investors urging the company to go private-with Krupa Global Investments, one of the company's largest institutional shareholders calling for a $80 per share buyout.

Hees said the sale will allow Kraft to focus on the segments and categories where it has "stronger brand equity, competitive advantage and greater growth prospects". Kraft Heinz expects to use transaction proceeds primarily to pay down debt, with reduced interest expenses expected to offset the majority of EPS dilution on a run-rate basis.

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Parmalat, which was acquired by Lactalis in 2011, said the Ingleside plant fits well into its current network and helps expand its operations in Eastern Canada.

The move highlights a desire for Parmalat Canada to invest further in its local dairy sector and a "vote of confidence" for its future. "This deep‐rooted heritage in Canada makes the proposed transaction a logical step for us as we seek to make an even more significant economic and social contribution in Canada".

Parmalat Canada directly employs 3,000 Canadians, supports hundreds of farming families and contributes to livelihoods of thousands of Canadians who provide key services to our 16 manufacturing sites and national supply chain.

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