Canadian establishment Agropur Cooperative has agreed to acquire Sobeys’ dairy processing operations for $356m, through a strategic partnership agreement.

The acquisition, which is subject to usual regulatory approvals, includes four milk processing plants.

Of all the four plants, two are located in Edmonton, one in Winnipeg and one in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Sobeys’ dairy operations process more than 160 million litres of milk annually, by employing 281 people.

Agropur president Serge Riendeau said that the local and global dairy industry is very competitive.

"This transaction will confirm our leadership position in the Canadian milk industry, for the greater benefit of all of our membersproducers and owners," added Riendeau.

The agreement also covers licencing of the Lucerne trademark to Agropur for the production and distribution of fluid milk as well as cream.

Following the transfer of the facilities to Agropur, new long term supply agreements will come into effect.

Agropur CEO Robert Coallier said the acquisition of the plants represents revenues totalling over $400m.

"This transaction fits perfectly with our growth strategy. It will allow us to better serve our customers and consumers from coast to coast," Coallier added.