March 2, 2017
Maple Leaf Foods intends to acquire Lightlife Foods, Inc., a leading manufacturer and brand of refrigerated plant-based protein foods, for $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 of Maple Leaf Foods, which is based in Ontario and employs 11,000 people across Canada. “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."
Lightlife reported 2016 sales of approximately $40 million and has 38% market share in the U.S. refrigerated plant proteins market. The company employs approximately 100 people at its facility in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, where it manufactures more than 30 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.
“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,” said Roy Lubetkin, president and CEO, Lightlife Foods.
The transaction will be financed from cash on hand. The deal will close in March, subject to customary U.S. regulatory review.
The U.S. market for plant-based proteins is estimated at $600 million, with the refrigerated category representing over $110 million and delivering double-digit annual growth.
Source: Maple Leaf Foods
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