Cheese giant Saputo has purchased a prominent specialty cheese maker in Quebec along with its distribution business for $54 million.

Saputo (TSX:SAP) said Friday it will buy the cheese production business of privately held Fromage Côté S.A. and the related Distributions Kingsey Inc.

Fromage Côté makes cheddar, cheddar curds, Swiss, and other specialty cheeses sold under the brand names Kingsey, Princesse, Sir Laurier d'Arthabaska and Du Village de Warwick.

It has annual revenues of $110 million, with facilities in Warwick, Plessisville, Victoriaville, and Boucherville, Que.

The 400 employees at Fromage Côté and Distributions Kingsey will join the 7,500 who already work at Saputo.

Saputo shares were up 54 cents to $37.98 in afternoon trading Friday.