MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. on Nov. 13 closed on its acquisition of VIAU Foods, a Canadian producer of premium Italian cooked, dry-cured and charcuterie meats, for a purchase price of $215 million, including $30 million in Maple Leaf stock. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Maple Leaf’s earnings per share in the first year and to the company’s margin expansion over time.

Founded in 1977, VIAU makes value-added prepared meat products, including sausages, pizza toppings, shaved steak, meatballs, dry-cured pepperoni, pancetta and sliced chorizo under the VIAU and Fantino & Mondello brands. The company markets its products throughout retailers in Canada and is a supplier of dried pepperoni and other pizza toppings to the North American food service industry. VIAU had sales of $180 million over the last 12 months.

Maple Leaf said the acquisition expands its position in the growing market for premium dry cured and pepperoni meat products and provides further production capacity in Quebec, a strategic base to grow both Canadian and U.S. sales. The deal also enables VIAU to expand its portfolio to include raised without antibiotic products, leveraging Maple Leaf's leadership in this growing market, Maple Leaf said.

VIAU employs 470 people at two facilities in Laval, Que., and Montreal.