TORONTO, ONTARIO--Stake Technology Ltd. (Stake) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) is pleased to announce today that it has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Kettle Valley Dried Fruit Ltd. (Kettle Valley) and its related companies.
Kettle Valley operates two production facilities in Summerland, British Columbia, the heart of the B.C. apple growing district, and is currently constructing a third plant in the State of Washington, the center of the apple growing district of Western U.S. These plants produce natural and organic fruit bars and fruit leathers with an apple base and market these products under the Kettle Valley Real Fruit Snack and Frunola brands. In addition, Kettle Valley produces a number of private label products for customers in the US, Canada and the UK. The company's products are sold through agents and distributors to the health food and mass markets as well as to various school districts who are leading the trend in improving the dietary content of student lunches.
Kettle Valley will extend the Company's consumer product offerings to include natural and organic snacks. Stake intends to broaden Kettle Valley's bar product line into other health oriented bar products, many of which are expected to use vertically integrated ingredients from the Stake Food Group operations.
John Boot, President of Kettle Valley, said "The culture and values of Stake and Kettle Valley are highly compatible and we are very pleased that our rapid growth will continue to include the South Okanagan facility. This agreement will create many new and exciting opportunities for our dedicated employees and allows us to continue to bring cost effective, value-added products to the market place."
Jeremy N. Kendall, Chairman and CEO of Stake Technology Ltd., commented that, "We see a significant opportunity to grow our consumer products business in the natural and organic snack food sector and see Kettle Valley as an excellent addition to our Consumer Products Group."
The undisclosed purchase price is a combination of cash, shares and a five-year note with closing scheduled for the end of April, subject to completion of definitive agreements.
Stake Technology Ltd. is an owner/operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets. For the last four consecutive years, Stake was included in Profit magazine's 'Profit 100' list of the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada. Currently, the company has three business units: the Food Group, which specializes in identity-preserved (IP) grain products and natural and organic food products; from seed to packaged product; the Environmental Industrial Group; a producer, distributor, and recycler of industrial materials; and the Steam Explosion Technology Group who market clean pulping technologies. 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 reports.