Ingleside Kraft being sold to Parmalat

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Parmalat Group says it has reached an agreement valued at $1.62 billion to acquire Kraft Heinz Canada's natural cheese division.

The natural cheese business being sold, which includes brands like Cracker Barrel, P'tit Quebec and aMOOza, contributed about C$560 million to Kraft's net sales in 2017.

The deal should close in the second half of 2019.

The activity includes a production site at Ingleside, in the province of Ontario, which employs approximately 400 people.

Kraft said it will continue to own and market its other cheese products, including Philadelphia, Cheez Whiz and Kraft Singles, which are processed in Quebec.

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With this sale, "we can focus on the categories where our brand is stronger and where we have a competitive advantage and growth prospects of the largest", stressed the CEO of Kraft, Heinz, Bernardo Hees. James L. Kraft began the business selling cheese from the back of a wagon in Chicago, Illinois.

As Kraft Heinz previously told FoodNavigator-USA, Evolv Ventures will be working with startups in the food industry targeting four areas: food tech around food production, operations tech (i.e. supply chain, logistics, etc), consumer data and marketing, and finally new models such as direct-to-consumer and e-commerce. The company expects to use transaction proceeds primarily to pay down debt. The Kraft Heinz Company remains steadfast in its commitment to the Canadian market, illustrated by its recent acquisition of the Vancouver-based Ethical Bean coffee brand.

RBC Capital Markets served as exclusive financial advisor to Kraft Heinz Canada for this transaction, while Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP served as legal advisors.

"We are excited to work closely with the community and our stakeholders to ensure we can grow sustainably and help Canada's natural cheese business thrive". Parmalat now has almost 3,000 employees and 16 dairy processing plants in Canada.

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