Sun Capital affiliate to buy Maple Leaf pork plant

by Eric Schroeder
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TORONTO — An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc. has agreed to acquire the Burlington, Ont., pork processing operation of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. for approximately C$20 million ($20 million). The transaction is expected to close within the next few days.

“This sale will complete the transformation of our fresh pork operations to focus our growth on branded, consumer-focused prepared meats and meals business,” said Michael Vels, chief financial officer of Maple Leaf Foods. “We are very pleased to have secured a buyer who will continue to operate the facility, providing ongoing employment to a highly skilled workforce, and an important market for Ontario’s hog producers.”

Maple Leaf said the transaction includes a long-term contract with Maple Leaf’s rendering operations.

After the sale, Maple Leaf's annual pork processing volume will be cut to about 4.3 million hogs from 7 million hogs in 2006. Pork processing will be concentrated at Maple Leaf’s facility in Brandon, Man.

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