Maple Leaf Foods espouses vegan values with US$120m acquisition

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05 Dec 2017 --- Major Toronto-based meat company Maple Leaf Foods has again signaled its intention to step outside of its traditional space and strengthen its alternative protein portfolio by buying Field Roast Grain Meat Co.

Maple Leaf Foods has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Seattle-headquartered firm which crafts vegetarian meat from grains, expanding its platform in the high growth alternative proteins market.

This comes after another deal in February when Maple Leaf Foods acquired veggie company Lightlife Foods for US$140 million, plus related costs.

Founded in 1997, Field Roast pioneered the development of artisanal quality, grain-based meat products and is a leading brand in the premium segment. It draws on culinary heritage from Europe and Asia in its recipes, using grains, fresh vegetables, dried fruits, wine and spices.

Products are marketed across North America and include fresh and frozen grain-based roasts and loaves, sausages and frankfurters, burgers, deli slices and appetizers, and Chao brand vegan cheese slices and entrees. It has sales of approximately USD$38 million. 

“The acquisition of Field Roast complements and expands our portfolio in the fast-growing North American market for alternative proteins,” said Michael McCain, President and CEO. 

“It also aligns with our vision to be a leader in sustainable protein and create shared value through making a positive social impact. Field Roast has built brand leadership through focusing on quality, craftsmanship and taste, and its acquisition will allow Maple Leaf to fuel growth in the category through investment, brand building and innovation.”

Maple Leaf Foods expects to finance the transaction through a combination of cash-on-hand and drawings under the existing credit facility.  

The deal is subject to customary regulatory review and transaction conditions and the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

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