UNFI enters agreement
to acquire distribution
assets of SunOpta unit
May 11, 2010 10:21 AM
United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Canadian food distribution assets of the SunOpta Distribution Group business (SDG) of SunOpta Inc for total consideration of abouty CDN $68 million in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by early June 2010.
Upon closing, the SDG business will be operated through a wholly owned subsidiary of UNFI, and will operate in Canada as UNFI Canada Inc.
UNFI’s pending acquisition of the SDG business will provide it with an immediate platform for growth in the Canadian market.
Founded in 2002, SDG serves approximately 6,000 customer locations, 15,000 SKUs, and five distribution centers. SDG has enjoyed solid market demand over the past several years and achieved 2009 revenues in excess of CDN $175 million.
SDG will continue to be based in Toronto, Ontario.
“This acquisition is the latest step in our strategy to grow our Specialty Foods and Organic business,” said Steve Spinner, UNFI president and chief executive officer.
Steve Bromley, president and CEO of SunOpta, said, “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 SunOpta 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.”
UNFI carries and distributes more than 60,000 products to more than 17,000 customer locations nationwide. The company serves a variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators, and the foodservice channel.
SunOpta Inc has three business units: SunOpta Foods, which specializes in sourcing, processing, and distribution of natural and organic food products; Opta Minerals Inc (66.4% owned by SunOpta); and SunOpta BioProcess Inc.
For more information, visit www.unfi.com.
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