TORONTO, May 31, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, today announced the sale of frozen fruit processing equipment located in Salinas, California to Cal Pacific Specialty Foods, LLC. ("Cal Pacific"). These assets were previously leased to Cal Pacific and were sold for their book value of approximately $1.8 million, paid in cash on closing. Cal Pacific will continue to supply IQF strawberries and other products to SunOpta under an existing long-term supply agreement.
The processing assets included in this transaction were part of the SunOpta Fruit Group, and more specifically, the SunOpta Fruit Specialties frozen fruit operations, which supply frozen strawberries and other fruit products in individually quick frozen (IQF) and other packaging formats to retail, foodservice and industrial customers in the United States and certain international markets.
Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, commented, "This divestiture is another step in simplifying our frozen fruit business model to focus on value-added private label frozen fruit products for the retail and food service channels and improve long-term profitability. The funds will be reinvested in other internal growth projects within the Company."
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in natural and organic foods. The Company has two business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products and Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM) (66.4% owned by SunOpta), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial minerals. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.
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Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release may be considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking statements include our strategy to simplify our business model and focus on value added frozen fruit products for the retail and foods service channels. Terms and phrases such as, "simplify", "reinvested" and other similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as management's best judgment based on current facts and assumptions that management considers reasonable. The Company makes no representation that reasonable business people in possession of the same information would reach the same conclusions. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements including those detailed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (available at ). Consequently all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized.
CONTACT: SunOpta Inc. Steve Bromley, President & CEO Eric Davis, Vice President & CFO Tony Tavares, Vice President & COO Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer Tel: 905-455-2528, ext 103 firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sunopta.com