TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA — Pipeline Foods, LLC has acquired the specialty and organic soy and corn business of SunOpta Inc. for $66.5 million. The transaction closed on Feb. 22.
“We are excited by this incredible opportunity to grow our business and expand the accessibility of organic and specialty grains in the U.S.,” said Eric Jackson, chief executive of Pipeline Foods. “With this move, we are merging the newest team in the sustainable agriculture supply chain business with the most tenured and respected team in the business and creating something even better. With a focused passion, we seek to merge the best parts of each organization’s culture, practices, experience, and relationships to build a world-class business that can deliver value to our farmer-partners as well as our customers.”
The acquired business includes a facility in Cresco, Iowa, U.S., and four facilities located in the Minnesota cities of Hope, Blooming Prairie, Ellendale and Moorhead.
As part of the transaction, Pipeline and SunOpta have entered a multi-year supply agreement for certain ingredients used in SunOpta’s consumer products business. SunOpta said it will continue to operate its other North American-based sourcing and supply operations, consisting of sunflower and roasting operations, as well as its European-based international sourcing and supply platform, known as Tradin Organic, which were not part of the sale.
“Our specialty and organic soy and corn business has a long history of supplying high quality specialty, non-GMO and organic ingredients to the food industry,” said John Ruelle, senior vice-president of raw material sourcing and supply at SunOpta. “I want to thank all of our employees who are transitioning to Pipeline Foods for their hard work and dedication. Each employee has had a meaningful impact and contributed to the company’s Value Creation Plan during their time at SunOpta. We believe Pipeline Foods is well positioned in this space, which should serve the industry well and be positive for our transitioning employees.”