SunOpta says the deal is consistent with its strategy of becoming a pure play natural and organic foods company

SunOpta says the deal is consistent with its strategy of becoming a pure play natural and organic foods company

Canada-based natural and organic food group SunOpta has acquired the Bulgarian grain handling and processing facility of Organic Land Corp.

The purchase of the Silistra-based facility, a strategic supplier for SunOpta, was made for EUR3.2m (US$4.2), the company said yesterday. The company said the acquisition will further expand its global sourcing platform and value-added ingredient capabilities.

The facility, operating as the Organic Land Corp, was acquired by The Organic Corp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SunOpta.

Steve Bromley, CEO of SunOpta said the deal is consistent with its strategy of becoming a pure play natural and organic foods company.

"The acquisition of OLC expands our value-added processing capabilities and increases our presence in a key global supply area, while at the same time leveraging our integrated processing platform."

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SunOpta Acquires Value-Added Bulgarian Processing Operation

Expands Presence in a Key Growing Area for Organic Products

TORONTO, Jan. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today announced that the Company has completed the acquisition of a value-added grains handling and processing facility located in Silistra, Bulgaria. The facility is currently a strategic supplier for SunOpta, producing value-added sunflower kernel, oil and related by-products. The acquisition further expands the Company's global sourcing platform and value-added ingredient capabilities.

The facility, operated as the Organic Land Corporation OOD (OLC), was acquired by The Organic Corporation B.V. (TOC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and a division of the International Foods Group. The purchase price was EUR 3.2 million, inclusive of debt, and is subject to normal closing adjustments. Key personnel will remain with the operations and the former shareholders of OLC will be eligible for an earn-out over the next three years based on specified EBITDA targets. The acquisition was funded via existing credit facilities.

Silistra is located in north east Bulgaria, close to the Black Sea and the Danube River Delta. Located nearby in Romania is a sizable agricultural area that is protected and chemical free, with many growers producing organic products including sunflower, flax seed, corn, barley and soy beans. The Company intends to expand its presence in this region across these key product categories and will also expand the facility by adding additional storage and processing capabilities to maximize supply sources for value-added processing.

Gerard Versteegh, President of the SunOpta International Foods Group commented; "The acquisition of OLC allows us to expand our product offerings in both value-added organic sunflower kernel and organic sunflower oil. The location is ideal for securing supply of organic raw materials for further processing and will allow us to expand our capabilities into other organic products that are grown in the UNESCO protected area within the Danube River Delta. We would like to welcome the former employees of OLC to TOC and SunOpta."

Steve Bromley, Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta Inc. commented; "Consistent with our strategy of becoming a pure play natural and organic foods company, aggressively growing our value-added ingredients and packaged foods portfolio, and leveraging our integrated platform, the acquisition of OLC expands our value-added processing capabilities and increases our presence in a key global supply area, while at the same time leveraging our integrated processing platform."

 

Original source: SunOpta

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