Shepherd Gourmet - now owned by Saputo.

Shepherd Gourmet - now owned by Saputo.

Canada-based dairy giant Saputo has snapped up local peer Shepherd Gourmet to boost its presence in "speciality" cheese and yogurt.

Saputo is paying CAD100m (US$77.8m) for the Ontario-based Shepherd Gourmet, which has a plant in St Mary's and employs around 90 people.

Shepherd Gourmet manufactures and markets a range of "speciality" cheeses, yogurt and the Icelandic-style yogurt, Skyr, in Canada.

During the year to 30 April, Shepherd Gourmet generated revenues of approximately CAD57m, Saputo said. It did not disclose the firm's profits.

Saputo expects to finalise the acquisition next month.

The group's last acquisition in Canada was in 2015, when it bought another Ontario-based firm, Woolwich Dairy.

In 2017, Saputo purchased two businesses in the US, including Wisconsin-based goat cheese supplier Betin.

Saputo's most notable acquisition in recent years has been the deal for Australia-based cooperative Murray Goulburn, a deal that secured competition clearance from local regulators earlier this year.