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Maple Leaf Delays Pork Plant Purchasing Plans

by 5m Editor
3 April 2009, at 9:29am

CANADA - Maple Leaf Foods yesterday announced that despite active negotiations with several prospective purchasers, current economic conditions and credit markets have made it difficult to complete a satisfactory sale of its Ontario pork processing business located in Burlington, Ontario.

As a result, the Company does not plan to continue a formal sale process until markets rebound, which will likely not be before early 2010.

"The current economic conditions and credit markets have created a less than ideal environment to sell any business," said Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer of Maple Leaf Foods. "There is no immediate urgency to selling the Burlington business. It is an efficient and profitable business and we want to ensure we negotiate an offer that recognizes the appropriate value for the business and meets the expectations of our shareholders."

The decision to sell the Burlington business resulted from the Company's decision to refocus its growth in the value-added meat, meals and bakery businesses in October 2006, involving the divestiture or exit of several of its primary processing and other operations. The Burlington sale remains an important element of Maple Leaf's protein business transformation.