TORONTO, Jun 20, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta or the Company) (STKL) (CA:SOY) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the outstanding shares of Cleugh's Frozen Foods, Inc. ("Cleugh's"), of Buena Park, California. The undisclosed purchase price includes cash and assumption of debt.
Cleugh's is a third generation family business with annual revenues of in excess of US$50 million. The business focuses on processing natural and organic frozen fruits and vegetables for the retail private label, food service and industrial markets. Cleugh's operates two processing facilities in Buena Park and Salinas, California, with combined production, packaging and warehousing space of approximately 60,000 square feet. The facilities are located in two of California's largest strawberry growing regions, which represents Cleugh's primary product. The operations have extensive capabilities including IQF (individually quick frozen) processing, blending and puree production, and offer a wide range of packaging formats to their customers, including poly bags, gable top cartons, specialty retail packaging, tubs, pails and other food service packaging formats. Organic product offerings represent the fastest growing segment of this business.
The acquisition of Cleugh's further strengthens SunOpta's vertically integrated fruit based operations. SunOpta's strategic sourcing arrangements from around the world enable the Company to be a leader in the supply of fruits and vegetable based products to the organic foods industry. Joseph Stern, President of Organic Ingredients, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SunOpta, commented that "the acquisition of Cleugh's further strengthens our sourcing and processing capabilities, and in turn our ability to service our customers by ensuring the highest quality and supply."
Cleugh's processing and packaging capabilities will enable the Company to service current customers from SunOpta-owned production facilities, thereby improving SunOpta's ability to manage the supply chain 'from field to table' and extending its vertically integrated model in fruit ingredients.
Michael Cleugh, President of Cleugh's, commented that "we're extremely excited to have formed this partnership with SunOpta. Our combined capabilities will enable us to expand our product offerings to our customers and service a growing consumer demand for organic fruit products."
Steve Bromley, President and COO of SunOpta Inc., commented that "we expect the demand for natural and organic fruits and vegetables to continue to grow significantly as consumers seek healthier food options. Cleugh's has a long and rich family history in the frozen fruit industry and will significantly expand our capabilities in these markets."
SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets. For the last seven 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 SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the StakeTech Steam Explosion Group which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.