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Saputo’s president and COO of U.S. dairy foods resigns

The head office of Saputo Inc. is seen in Montreal on Nov. 14, 2013. The company’s president and chief operating officer for the U.S. dairy foods division has resigned, effective Dec. 10, 2013.

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

Saputo Inc. says Kevin Yost, the president and chief operating officer of its U.S. dairy foods division, has resigned.

The big, Quebec-based diary processing company says it has been informed by Yost that he is leaving effective Dec. 10.

No reason for the resignation was given.

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Saputo says Yost's duties will be taken over on an interim basis by president and chief operating officer Dino Dello Sbarba.

Saputo is Canada's largest dairy processor and one of the top 10 in the world, marketing and distributing a wide array of dairy products including cheese, fluid milk, extended shelf-life milk and cream products, cultured products and dairy ingredients.

The company is in the midst of a takeover battle for Australian dairy producer Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory.

Montreal-based Saputo has accumulated 9.6 per cent of the stock in Warrnambool since it reached a friendly agreement to buy Warrnambool last month.

But the Australian Takeovers Panel last week  slapped an interim order on Saputo that halts the company's processing of any tenders to its takeover offer. The freeze, imposed on Friday, can last for up to two months and buys time for tenacious Saputo rival Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Ltd. to bolster support for its own proposal to take over Warrnambool.

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