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Maple Leaf Foods Closes Organic Acquisition, Creates Plant-Based Subsidiary

Maple Leaf Foods Closes Organic Acquisition, Creates Plant-Based Subsidiary

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Maple Leaf Foods brought its third quarter fiscal 2018 to a close on an auspicious note. A premier North American protein provider, Maple Leaf closed the acquisition of two antibiotic-free, organic, and value-added poultry plants and created a new wholly-owned subsidiary to oversee and accelerate plant-based food operations.

On October 22, Maple Leaf announced that it had closed the acquisition of two plants and associated supply from Cericola Farms. The two plants—located in Bradford, Ontario, and Drummondville, Quebec—currently produce roughly 32 million kilograms of chicken annually. The company also secured 100 percent of the processed chicken volume from Cericola's primary processing plant located in Schomberg, Ontario, and an option to acquire this asset and associated plant supply in three years.

Only two days later, Maple Leaf announced the creation of Greenleaf Foods—consolidating its Lightlife and Field Roast brands under the new company. In a press release, the company noted its intent to “build a robust portfolio of brands and products to offer consumers more plant-based food choices.”

Greenleaf will be headquartered in Chicago, IL, and led by industry veteran Dan Curtin.

Dan Curtin, President, Greenleaf Foods“We have established leading brands that are known for delicious, high-quality products, and we are excited to build on and invest in that expertise to drive innovation and accelerate our growth,” noted Curtin, President of the newly formed company. “Leadership in the fast-growing plant-based protein market is fundamental to pursuing Maple Leaf Foods' broader vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.”

Maple Leaf consolidated its Lightlife and Field Roast brands under a new company: Greenleaf Foods

These highlights preceded the announcement of Maple Leaf’s third quarter 2018 fiscal results. The company noted the following highlights, despite weathering “challenging” conditions associated with trade instability:

  • Sales growth in the value-added portfolio offset by lower fresh market values
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin at 9.3%, with strong commercial performance offset by abnormal market conditions
  • Excellent progress in all growth and strategic initiatives
  • Subsequent to the quarter, closed Cericola acquisition and announced agreement to purchase VIAU Foods, expanding Maple Leaf's position in premium fresh poultry and cured meats

Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf“It was a challenging period driven by temporary global trade instability, but our performance held up exceptionally well reflecting the strength of our balanced portfolio and commercial momentum in our business,” said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf. “These abnormal markets have no impact on our core business strategies or our longer-term financial goals. We are focused on key levels of value creation over time, including our sustainability agenda, our brands, strategic acquisitions, and cost reduction.”

For more on this and other important companies in the protein industry, keep reading Deli Market News.

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