Dairy Crest has agreed terms for a £975m takeover by Canadian dairy giant Saputo.
Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world, the largest cheese manufacturer and leading fluid milk and cream processor in Canada, the top dairy processor in Australia and the second largest in Argentina.
It was also in the top three US cheese producers.
Dairy Crest’s key brands include Cathedral City cheese, Countrylife butter and Clover.
Lino A. Saputo, Jr, chairman and chief executive of Saputo., said: "Dairy Crest is an attractive platform for Saputo and fits well within our growth strategy.
“We believe that under Saputo ownership, Dairy Crest will be able to accelerate its long-term growth and business development potential and provide benefits to Dairy Crest’s employees and stakeholders.
“This recommended offer represents a compelling opportunity for Dairy Crest Shareholders, providing immediate value certainty."
The Dairy Crest board unanimously recommended shareholders accept the offer.
Chairman Stephen Alexander said: “Dairy Crest is a leading UK dairy company and the proud manufacturer of Cathedral City, the largest UK cheese brand.
“Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world. Both companies have built strong positions in the cheese sectors in their respective home markets.
“The Acquisition should enable Dairy Crest to benefit from Saputo’s global expertise and strong financial position to fulfil and accelerate its growth ambitions.
“The businesses have strong shared values and the board is confident that Saputo’s plans to invest in and grow the Dairy Crest business mean the proposed transaction is positive for all its stakeholders.”