Canadian dairy firm Saputo has reached an agreement to acquire UK-based Dairy Crest for approximately £975m ($1.2bn).

According to the agreement, Saputo has agreed to acquire the entire issued ordinary capital of Dairy Crest for £6.20 a share.

Headquartered in Esher, UK, Dairy Crest manufactures and markets cheese, butter, spreads and oils under various British brands, including Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Fryligh.

Dairy Crest currently employs approximately 1,100 people in seven locations across the country.

“Saputo has agreed to acquire the entire issued ordinary capital of Dairy Crest for £6.20 per share.”

The transaction will be financed via funds drawn on a bank term loan facility.

It is expected to be closed in the second quarter of this year, subject to approval by Dairy Crest shareholders, the Court’s sanction of the scheme of arrangement and other conditions customary.

The acquisition complements Saputo’s growth strategy and is expected to further enhance the company’s global footprint.

Lazard is acting as financial adviser to Saputo, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Stikeman Elliott are acting as its legal counsel.

Last October, Saputo signed an agreement to acquire the activities of US-based cheese manufacturer F&A Dairy Products in a C$111m ($85m) deal.

Established in 1965, F&A Dairy Products has been producing a range of natural cheese products at its two manufacturing facilities located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Dresser in Wisconsin. It has a workforce of nearly 170 people.