SunOpta Selling Minerals Business to Focus Solely on Food

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Feb 17, 2016

SunOpta, Toronto, a global company specializing in organic, non-genetically modified ("non-GMO") and specialty foods, announced Feb. 12 that it will focus primarily on its food business, now that it has agreed to sell Opta Minerals. Opta is a vertically integrated supplier of industrial mineral products in the steel, foundry, water-jet cutting and water filtration industries. SunOpta entered into a definitive acquisition agreement, under which an affiliate of Speyside Equity Fund I LP will acquire substantially all of Opta Minerals Inc. shares.

SunOpta expects to receive aggregate proceeds of approximately $6.2 million (C), of which (C)$4.2 million is cash. The remaining (C)$2 million will be in the form of a subordinated promissory note of Opta Minerals bearing interest at 2 percent, which will mature 30 months following the close of the transaction, anticipated to take place in early April.

"The sale of Opta Minerals represents a significant milestone, and we are pleased to be concluding this chapter of our company's history as it paves the way for SunOpta to truly become a pure-play healthy and organic foods company," says Rik Jacobs, president and CEO of SunOpta. "Following completion of the deal, our entire team will be able to focus solely on the growth and strategic priorities of our vertically-integrated international foods business, and the sale will further simplify our reporting. In addition to the greater financial flexibility created by our new expanded credit facility, our balance sheet will no longer reflect the debt associated with Opta Minerals."

SunOpta sources, processes and packages organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models. The company's organic and non-GMO food operations revolve around value-added grain, seed, fruit and vegetable based product offerings, supported by a global sourcing and supply infrastructure.

Opta Minerals provides custom process solutions and industrial mineral products with production and/or distribution facilities in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Idaho, France, Slovakia and Germany.

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