SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, announced the sale of frozen fruit processing equipment located in Salinas, California to Cal Pacific Specialty Foods, LLC. ("Cal Pacific"). These assets were previously leased to Cal Pacific and were sold for their book value of approximately $1.8 million, paid in cash on closing. Cal Pacific will continue to supply IQF strawberries and other products to SunOpta under an existing long-term supply agreement.
The processing assets included in this transaction were part of the SunOpta Fruit Group, and more specifically, the SunOpta Fruit Specialties frozen fruit operations, which supply frozen strawberries and other fruit products in individually quick frozen (IQF) and other packaging formats to retail, foodservice and industrial customers in the United States and certain international markets.
Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, commented, "This divestiture is another step in simplifying our frozen fruit business model to focus on value-added private label frozen fruit products for the retail and food service channels and improve long-term profitability. The funds will be reinvested in other internal growth projects within the Company."
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in natural and organic foods. The Company has two 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 and Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM) (66.4% owned by SunOpta), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial minerals. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector. www.sunopta.com