Dean Foods Co., Dallas, will pay approximately $450 million to acquire the Alpro division of Vandemoortele N.V., Belgium's largest privately held food company. The deal is scheduled to close during the third quarter of this year.

With its Alpro soya and Provamel brands, Alpro is the European leader in branded soy-based beverage and food products, said Dean. The business posted net sales of approximately euro 260 million ($360.5 million) in 2008. It has five processing plants in Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands and employs approximately 750 people.

"We think this is a great deal that establishes Dean Foods as a clear global leader in the attractive soy beverages and related products category, with over $1 billion in combined annual retail sales," noted Gregg Engles, Dean chairman and CEO.

Dean said Alpro CEO Bernard Deryckere will report to Joe Scalzo, CEO and president of Dean Foods' WhiteWave-Morningstar division. Alpro will be managed as a separate European business.