Saputo, the Canada-based dairy group, has sold a plant in the US to local dairy ingredients group Milk Specialties Global.

The factory in Monroe in Wisconsin was due to be closed on 31 August but was bought by Milk Specialties Global “right before the closure date”, a spokesperson for Saputo told just-food on Friday (2 September).

The plant made “various bi-products” but the Saputo spokesperson said the production had “already been moved to other Saputo facilities”. She declined to disclose to where Saputo had transferred the production. Staff working at the Wisconsin site have moved to the new owners, the spokesperson added.

Milk Specialties Global said the deal would help it grow its whey protein ingredients business. It said the plant was “located in a favorable location for cheese producers”.

Tom Benson, senior vice president of strategic sourcing and risk management at Milk Specialties Global, said: “This investment will support our ongoing commitment to our valued whey suppliers to provide a consistent market for whey protein. Investing in an area that is soaked with a proud cheese making tradition will allow both our cheesemakers and Milk Specialties to continue to grow.”

Milk Specialties already has nine manufacturing facilities across the Midwest and California. The 14 employees at the Monroe facility will join the business, it confirmed.