Canadian dairy products company Saputo has agreed to acquire the activities of Schneider Cheese Inc a US company that manufactures and sells string cheeses and cheese sticks under the Schneider brand name and other private labels.

The purchase price is US$23.9m on a debt-free basis, payable in cash from liquidity and/or by drawing on available lines of credit, Saputo said. The closing of the transaction is subject to the usual conditions and is anticipated before the end of May 2005.

Schneider Cheese, Inc. employs approximately 160 people in the United States at its plant located in Waldo, in the state of Wisconsin. Schneider Cheese's annual revenues are approximately US$40 million. These assets will complement Saputo's current activities in the United States, Saputo said.