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SunOpta enters agreement with United Natural Foods

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

SunOpta Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) and a wholly-owned subsidiary of UNFI to sell the company’s Canadian food distribution assets for cash consideration of approximately 68 million CDN $ (52 million €). The transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by early June 2010. The food distribution assets included in this transaction form part of the SunOpta Distribution Group (“SDG”). SunOpta will retain the natural health products distribution and manufacturing assets which represent the balance of the assets in SDG. Active employees currently directly involved in the Canadian food distribution operations will be offered employment with UNFI, the leading distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods in the United States.

“This acquisition is the latest step in our strategy to grow our organic and specialty foods business and represents an opportunity for UNFI to diversify its operations by entering into the Canadian market,” commented Steve Spinner, President and Chief Executive Officer of UNFI. “We are excited about entering the dynamic Canadian market and feel terrific in welcoming this business to our organization.” Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, commented, "In 2002, we started to build our natural, organic and specialty food and natural health products distribution business in Canada. We are very proud of the attractive platform that has been put in place. Divesting the food distribution assets is an important milestone in our strategy to focus on our core food manufacturing platform, strengthening our balance sheet and positioning the company for the future. We have long admired UNFI’s strong values and commitment to the natural, organic and specialty foods industry, and believe they will bring great value to the Canadian marketplace.”

United Natural Foods, Inc. carries and distributes more than 60,000 products to more than 17,000 customer locations nationwide. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Forbes in 2005 as one of the "Best Managed Companies in America," ranked by Fortune in 2006 – 2010 as one of its "Most Admired Companies," winner of the Supermarket News 2008 Sustainability Excellence Award, and recognized by the Nutrition Business Journal for its 2009 Environment and Sustainability Award. SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic foods and natural health products markets.




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