SunOpta acquires healthy beverage maker

by Eric Schroeder
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TORONTO — SunOpta Inc., a provider of natural, organic and specialty foods products, has acquired Citrusource, L.L.C. for a combination of cash on closing of $13.3 million, plus future payments based on specific performance targets. The acquisition was funded from available credit facilities and is expected to be immediately accretive.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Citrusource is a supplier of not-from-concentrate private label organic and conventional orange juice and citrus products in the United States. The company has annual revenues of approximately $30 million, and operates a national sourcing and supply operation utilizing a number of processing and packaging partners to serve a variety of retailer customers.

“This acquisition aligns with our core integrated two-touch strategy and leverages our vertically integrated operations as well as our consumer products strategy to grow our healthy beverages portfolio,” said Steve Bromley, chief executive officer of SunOpta. “The acquisition of Citrusource will leverage our integrated juice operation located in San Bernardino, Calif., which is now operational. In addition, the Citrusource team brings significant market, commercial and operational expertise to SunOpta, which we expect will help us to drive synergies across our current healthy beverages segment and better serve our customers.”

Bob Aicklen, managing partner at Citrusource, said the acquisition by SunOpta will allow Citrusource to better serve its customers as it leverages SunOpta’s vertically integrated business and international sourcing expertise.

“Our product and process expertise will fit nicely with SunOpta’s focus on healthy and organic beverages,” Mr. Aicklen said. “As a result, we will be better able to leverage our combined expertise to expand our product capabilities and customer portfolio.”

In addition to juice, SunOpta’s consumer packaged goods portfolio includes products for retail and food service use such as aseptic beverages, fruit snacks, specialty snack bars, roasted grains, individually quick frozen (IQF) fruits and vegetables, and resealable pouch products.

Along with the announcement of the acquisition, SunOpta issued full-year results for fiscal 2014. Net income in the year ended Jan. 3 was $13,101,000, equal to 20c per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $8,524,000 in fiscal 2013. Revenues for fiscal 2014 climbed to $1,242,600,000 from $1,140,095,000.

“2014 was a record year in our core foods business, and we made progress on a number of fronts in support of our strategies focusing on our integrated natural and organic foods business, accelerating growth by delivering more value to our customers, and leveraging the integrated platform that we continue to build,” Mr. Bromley said.
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READER COMMENTS (1)

By Jon 3/3/2015 9:39:28 AM
Good article