Canadian dairy cooperative Gay Lea Foods has entered into an agreement with Butterball Farms to acquire Stirling Creamery, a manufacturer of “artisanal crafted” natural and flavoured butter. 

Financial details of the transaction, which will come into effect at the beginning of November, were not revealed. It will see Gay Lea take control of Ontario-based Stirling’s butter brands, including Churn 84 and Stirling Premium Balls. Gay Lea said the deal will expand its value-added product mix, increase its production capacity and provide “added flexibility” to meet customer needs in the “current high-demand market” for butter. 

Gay Lea Foods said it intends to maintain full operations at the Stirling plant and preserve all relationships with existing Stirling Creamery customers, suppliers and employees.

“Stirling Creamery, like our co-operative, has a strong and rich history in the province of Ontario. With this acquisition, we continue the tradition of supporting family farms in Ontario while further strengthening Gay Lea Foods’ presence in the Canadian dairy industry,” Steve Dolson, chair for Gay Lea Foods.

Gay Lea Foods has been active in the M&A arena in recent years, with deals including the acquisition of Black River Cheese in 2016 and Hewitt’s Dairy in 2014. It also recently acquired shares in Mariposa Dairy, which produces goat and sheep cheeses