(Adds details from the statement)
March 26 Saputo Inc, Canada's largest dairy producer, said it would close four factories this year, affecting about 180 employees.
Saputo, which recently won control of Australian dairy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co, said it would shutter two facilities in Alberta and one each in the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Maryland.
Some of the employees will be laid off while others are offered a transfer to other locations, Saputo said.
The first facility closure is scheduled in May and the last closure in December, the Montreal-based company said.
Saputo, whose brands include Neilson dairy products, Stella cheese and Vachon pastries, said costs connected with the closures would be about C$19.8 million ($18 million) after taxes, which includes an after-tax fixed assets writedown of about C$14.3 million.
Both these costs will be recorded in the fourth quarter. The company expects annual savings of about C$4.8 million in 2015. ($1 = 1.1143 Canadian Dollars) (Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh and Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)