TORONTO, Ontario, Nov 27, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta) (Nasdaq - STKL) (TSX - SOY) today announced it has completed the acquisitions of the business and operating assets of SIGCO Sun Products, Inc. ("Sigco") of Breckenridge, Minnesota and the purchase of 100% of the shares of Sonne Labs, Inc. (operated as "Dakota Gourmet") of Wahpeton, North Dakota.
SIGCO is a world wide supplier of sunflower products and is fully integrated from the sale of sunflower seed to farmers through processing the contracted crop into finished in-shell and kernel sunflower products. The company operates four facilities located in Minnesota, North Dakota and Kansas.
SIGCO markets its non-genetically modified sunflower products throughout the United States and to international markets in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The company is a leader in high-oleic sunflower seeds which have a shelf life approximately five times the traditional sunflower kernel, large in-shell sunflower seeds with increasing demand in world wide markets, and bakery kernels, where the company has developed a unique lower cost production process to service North American and International markets.
SIGCO's vertically integrated business model is highly compatible with SunOpta's existing vertically integrated operations. SIGCO's locations in the Mid-Western United States facilitate the integration of management and marketing strategies with SunOpta's Grains and Soy Products Group.
Dakota Gourmet is a small, fast growing company focused on the manufacture of innovative natural and organic snack foods using soy, corn and sunflower ingredients. These products are sold under the Dakota Gourmet brand and are also produced for private label customers.
The company's operational capabilities include roasting, blending and packaging and its products are marketed to the United States school program, various manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Dakota Gourmet and Kettle Valley, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SunOpta will co-ordinate their future marketing and product development programs.
SunOpta Inc. is an owner/operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets. For the last five consecutive years, SunOpta was included in Profit magazine's 'Profit 100' list of the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada. The company has three business units: the Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products; integrated from seed through packaged products; the Environmental Industrial Group; a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the Steam Explosion Technology Group who engineer and market clean pulping systems using patented steam explosion technology. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.
Note: This news release may contain forward-looking information. Actual future results may differ materially. The risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could influence actual results are described in the Company's annual report to shareholders and in SEC filings.