07/14/2014 02:24 EDT | Updated 09/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Northumberland Dairy plans to sell to Quebec company

Northumberland Co-operative Limited plans to sell its dairy and food service assets, including its Miramichi plant.

​The company. which touts itself as "the only dairy that's pure New Brunswick," has reached a tentative agreement with Quebec-based Agropur Co-operative, president Percy Scott announced on Monday.

The deal, which is still subject to members' approval, includes Northumberland's distribution centres and brands, but the company will keep its hardware operation, Scott said in a statement.

Northumberland has serviced New Brunswick since 1942.

“We believe this transaction with Agropur Co-operative is in the best interest of all of our stakeholders, including our members, our employees, our customers, and our consumers”, Scott said.

"We are confident that Agropur Co-operative will continue the tradition of servicing New Brunswick consumers with Northumberland quality dairy products for many years."

Agropur plans to maintain its commitment to New Brunswick and the Miramichi area in particular, CEO Robert Coallier said in a statement.

"The dairy industry is increasingly competitive in Canada and around the world. The co-operative movement needs to consolidate in order to stay competitive and remain an important player in dairy processing," Coallier said.

"This agreement will help us maintain our position as an industry leader and enhance our ability to serve our customers coast to coast," he said.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the assets in question have annual sales totalling $67 million, according to a release from Agropur.

The Miramichi plant processes 27 million litres of milk per year.

New Brunswick's other dairy, Baxter, is also owned by a Quebec company — Saputo, of Montreal.

Earlier this month, a deal between Agropur and Sobeys was also announced.

Sobeys is selling its milk, yogurt and ice cream manufacturing operations in Western Canada for $356 million to Agropur.

That sale includes a total of four plants: two in Edmonton and one each in Winnipeg and Burnaby, B.C.

Agropur, founded in 1938, has 3,554 dairy producer owners and 6,500 employees.

It processes more than 3.4 billion litres of milk per year at its 32 plants across north America, with sales of more than $3.8 billion, officials said.