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Industry NewsMaple Leaf spending $140M to acquire a U.S., plant-based protein company

Maple Leaf spending $140M to acquire a U.S., plant-based protein company

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Maple Leaf Foods has signed a definitive agreement with Brynwood Partners VI L.P. to acquire Lightlife Foods, Inc., a leading manufacturer and brand of refrigerated plant-based protein foods in the United States, for US$140 million.

“Expanding into the fast growing plant-based proteins market is one of Maple Leaf’s strategic growth platforms and supports our commitment to become a leader in sustainability,” said Michael McCain, president and CEO. “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 reported 2016 sales of approximately US$40 million and has 38 per cent market share in the U.S. refrigerated plant proteins market. The company employs about 100 people at its facility in Turners Falls, Mass., where it manufactures more than 30 innovative products, including plant-based tempeh, hot dogs, breakfast foods and burgers. Lightlife management will continue to lead the business, which will operate as a subsidiary of Maple Leaf.

The U.S. market for plant-based proteins is estimated at US$600 million, Maple Leaf said, with the refrigerated category representing over US$110 million and delivering double-digit annual growth.

The deal, subject to customary U.S. regulatory review, is expected to close in March.

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