EDMONTON, ALBERTA, Feb 2, 2005 (CCNMatthews via COMTEX) -- PLANET ORGANIC HEALTH CORP. (CA:POH) ("Planet Organic"), which owns large natural food across Canada, is pleased to announce that it has successfully closed the acquisition of Trophic Canada Inc. ("Trophic"). Shareholders approved the acquisition on December 17, 2004. Planet Organic paid the shareholders of Trophic $5.5 million (Cdn.) via the issuance of 6,875,000 shares. In addition Planet Organic has agreed to assume approximately $552,000 of Trophic's debt.
Trophic, founded in 1967, is a profitable manufacturer and distributor of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements with a national sales force and distribution through most of the country's natural food and supplement stores. Trophic, located in Penticton B.C, will operate as a separate division headed by their existing management team. This acquisition is part of Planet Organic's plan of vertical integration within the natural products industry, allowing it to further streamline systems and take advantage of economies of scale. Planet Organic plans to use its combined resources at the retail and manufacturing levels to strengthen the independent retailer and better compete against large mainstream stores.
Ron Francisco, currently chairman and director of Planet Organic, will also assume the roles of President and Chief Executive Officer. Mark Craft and Roy Sangster have been appointed as Executive Vice Presidents of Planet Organic Health Corp and Presidents of their divisions (Planet Organic Markets and Sangster's Health Centres, respectively). In addition, Planet Organic announces the addition of Ian Newton, of Toronto, Ontario as director of Planet Organic.
Mr. Newton joined Hoffmann-La Roche Canada Ltd., one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical and vitamin companies in 1979, holding a variety of positions including Group Director, Human Nutrition. In 1996 he relocated to Roche Vitamins USA where he was responsible for Regulatory Affairs and Business Development. Mr. Newton oversaw the development of various nutrients such as vitamins, carotenoids and other new ingredients used by the food and dietary supplement industries and became widely recognized as an industry expert. He has published on the nutritional aspects of vitamins and nutraceuticals in a variety of scientific and trade journals and is a key speaker at national and international nutrition conferences. Mr. Newton is currently Managing Director of Ceres Consulting, Toronto.
In the first quarter of the fiscal year, Planet acquired Sangster's Health Centres, a 35-store chain with franchised and privately held outlets across Canada, and Great Ocean Natural Foods, a large full service natural food store located in Halifax.
ABOUT PLANET ORGANIC:
Planet Organic operates natural food supermarkets and smaller supplement and body care store across Canada. Planet Organic provides its customers with the convenience of one-stop shopping by offering a broad product selection in all merchandise categories. Planet Organic's objectives are to consolidate the fragmented natural and organic foods industry in Canada and the U.S. via acquisitions, mergers and new retail operations.
This news release contains forward-looking information. Actual results may vary significantly from estimates.