Maple Leaf considering sale of stake in Canada Bread
By Bakers Journal
By Bakers Journal
Oct. 21, 2013, Toronto – Maple Leaf Foods
is exploring alternatives for its bakery
business, including a potential sale of the company's 90 per cent ownership of Canada Bread.
Maple Leaf embarked on a strategy seven years ago to increase scale,
productivity and profitability in its protein operations. The company
is now in the final phase of executing this strategy, which is on track
to be completed by 2015 and is expected to deliver significant returns
Maple Leaf has recently completed a comprehensive review of
opportunities to accelerate profitable growth across its global bakery
business, which it currently conducts through Canada
Before committing organizational focus, investment and
resources to implement this strategy, Maple Leaf's Board and management
have decided to explore other alternatives that will come to a close in early 2014.
There are significant growth
opportunities in the baked goods sector that may be pursued, either as
part of Maple Leaf or under new ownership. Maple Leaf believes that
either outcome would result in a strong commitment to realizing the
full potential of this business.
"We are confident that our bakery business can deliver significantly
higher levels of profitable growth; the only question is how best to
realize the future value of this business," said Michael McCain, president and CEO, in a news release. "The recently completed bakery strategy will require
organizational focus and resources to implement. This process gives us
the opportunity to determine the best path forward for Maple Leaf, our
shareholders and our bakery business."
Maple Leaf has established a committee of independent directors to
oversee the process and recommend the use of proceeds in the event of a
sale, which may include a combination of debt repayment, reinvestment
in the business and returning capital to shareholders.
There can be no assurance that the process being undertaken by Maple
Leaf will result in the consummation of any transaction. No decision to
sell Maple Leaf's interest in Canada Bread has been made and Maple Leaf
may ultimately conclude that it will not sell its interest in Canada