Dairy Crest CEO Mark Allen has stepped down from his position weeks after Saputo completed its £975 million acquisition of the UK company.
Tom Atherton, Dairy Crest deputy chief executive and group finance director, has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Saputo’s Dairy Division (UK).
Atherton has worked for Dairy Crest since 2005. He was appointed as an executive director and group finance director in 2013 and has also held the position of deputy chief executive since January 2018.
According to Saputo, Atherton has been “instrumental” in determining the strategic direction of Dairy Crest. He will report to Kai Bockmann, president and COO of Saputo. Mark Allen will remain with the company to ensure a transition to Atherton until July 2019.
Tom Atherton, chief operating officer of Saputo’s Dairy Division (UK).
Canada’s Saputo announced in February it had agreed to acquire Dairy Crest in a move to expand its international presence and enter the UK market. The acquisition was completed on 15 April.
Dairy Crest manufactures and markets cheese, butter, spreads and oils under brands such as Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight. It employs around 1,100 people in seven locations across the UK.
For the year ended 31 March 2018, Dairy Crest had revenues of approximately £456.8 million and profit after tax of £149.5 million.
Last month, Saputo secured a deal to acquire the speciality cheese business of Australia’s Lion Dairy & Drinks for AUD 280 million ($196.9 million). Brands included in the acquisition are South Cape, Tasmanian Heritage, Mersey Valley and King Island Dairy.
In October 2017, Saputo agreed to pay $1 billion for the Australian dairy business Murray Goulburn.
By Jules Scully
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