The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has decided to sell part of its 36.3% stake in Canadian food giant Maple Leaf Foods.

The pension fund said today (10 August) that it had reduced its stake in Maple Leaf to 25.2% after selling some shares to investment manager West Fund Capital.

"While we have been a long-term and supportive investor of MFI, this sale opportunity was in the best interests of the fund and our members', on whose behalf we invest," said Neil Petroff, executive vice-president for investments at the pension fund.

"We will still consider all of our options with respect to our remaining MFI shareholdings, but our current intention is to work with the company to maximize the value of our investment.".

There had been speculation in June that The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan had been looking to sell its entire shareholding in Maple Leaf. The fund has owned a stake in Maple Leaf since it backed the McCain family's takeover of the business in 1995.