Sparta Foods, Inc., announced today that its shareholders approved the transaction in which Sparta Foods becomes part of Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives. A special shareholders meeting was held today to vote on the transaction and the transaction was concluded.

Joel Bachul, president and chief executive officer of Sparta Foods, said, “We are pleased that our shareholders have approved this transaction, and look forward to being a part of the Cenex Harvest States organization.”

Terms of the merger provide for the cash payment to Sparta Foods’ shareholders of $1.41 per common share. Sparta had approximately 10.3 million shares of common stock outstanding at the time of the merger.

Jim Tibbetts, executive vice president for Cenex Harvest States’ Consumer Products Group, said, “We’re excited to bring Sparta fully into our cooperative system and to begin to make the most of its people, products and processes in fulfilling our mission to link agricultural producers closer to consumers. Cenex Harvest States is committed to aggressively grow and expand our tortilla, tortilla chip and specialty product businesses.”

Sparta Foods, Inc., located in New Brighton, Minn., and Phoenix, Ariz., is a regional market leader in the production and distribution of tortillas and value-added tortilla products to the retail and foodservice industries. The Company’s product lines include tortillas, tortilla chips and other snack products, and picante and other salsas. Sparta Foods distributes its food products to retail grocery chains and general merchandise retailers throughout the Midwest and Southwest U.S. principally under the Arizona Brand®, Cruz®, La Campana Paradiso®, La Canasta® and Spanish Bell® labels. Foodservice customers include Perkins Family Restaurants and other nationally known restaurants and distributors.

Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives (, with headquarters in suburban St. Paul, Minn., is a producer-to-consumer cooperative system owned by farmers, ranchers and their local cooperatives from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest, and from the Canadian border to Texas. Through a broad range of partnerships, this fully integrated agricultural foods cooperative also markets and distributes petroleum products, agronomic inputs and feed to rural America, as well as grain and processed food products to customers worldwide.

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Contact: Doug Ewing of BlueFire Partners, 612-371-0000, for Sparta Foods, Inc., A. Merrill Ayers, CFO of Sparta Foods, Inc., 651-697-5500, or Lani Jordan of Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives, 651-451-4946.