Trade Resources Company News Maple Leaf to Acquire US Protein Foods Manufacturer Lightlife Foods

Maple Leaf to Acquire US Protein Foods Manufacturer Lightlife Foods

Canadian consumer packaged meats firm Maple Leaf Foods has agreed to acquire American refrigerated plant-based protein foods manufacturer Lightlife Foods from Brynwood Partners VI for approximately $140m.

Maple Leaf will finance the transaction, which will also include other related costs, with cash on hand.

The acquisition is expected to help the Canadian firm expand into the rapidly growing plant-based proteins segment besides giving it scope to look beyond its platform in advancing sustainable meat.

Maple Leaf Foods president and CEO Michael McCain said: "Consumers are increasingly looking to diversify their protein consumption, including plant-based options.

"The acquisition of Lightlife provides Maple Leaf with a leading market position and brand in the United States in a category that is outpacing growth in the broader packaged foods sector.

“We will expand our presence through investment in brand building, innovation and leveraging our respective capabilities."

Lightlife Foods had sales of around $40m in 2016 with a 38% market share in the US for refrigerated plant proteins.

The company has a workforce of about 100 people at its Turners Falls facility in Massachusetts. It manufactures over 30 products at this location, including hot dogs, plant-based tempeh, burgers and breakfast foods.

Post acquisition, its management will continue to lead Lightlife Foods which will become a subsidiary of the Canadian firm.

Lightlife Foods president and CEO Roy Lubetkin said that the company would accelerate its growth and widen its reach in the plant-based protein market through the deal with Maple Leaf.

Lubetkin added: “Maple Leaf Foods has an industry leading commitment to sustainable protein, including a strategic focus on plant proteins, and being part of this incredible organization will enable the continued growth of our brands.”

Subject to mandatory regulatory approval in the US, the acquisition is slated to close in March, and is likely to be accretive to the 2017 earnings of Maple Leaf.

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Maple Leaf has exports to the US, Asia and other global markets. Some of its brands include Maple Leaf, Maple Leaf Natural Selections, Maple Leaf Prime, Schneiders, Devour, Schneiders Country Naturals, and Mina.

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