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Saputo CEO Lino Saputo Jr.Paul Chiasson

Montreal cheese maker Saputo Inc. says it has signed an agreement to acquire Fairmount Cheese Holdings Inc., the parent of U.S.-based DCI Cheese Company Inc., for $270.5-million (U.S.).

Saputo says the takeover will increase its presence in the specialty cheese market in the United States.

DCI, with about 475 employees, sells and distributes specialty cheese from Green Bay, Wis., and Carlstadt, N.J.

It holds a portfolio of import licenses for specialty cheese manufactured abroad and also manufactures and sells other products such as spreads, salsa, hummus and dips.

Sales last year totalled $460-million.

The deal is expected to close in March.