Media Centre
2002/12/11

Canada Bread Shareholders Approve Acquisition of Maple Leaf Bakeries

Toronto, ON - Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI) and Canada Bread Company, Limited (TSX:CBY) today announced that shareholders of Canada Bread, excluding Maple Leaf Foods, have voted in favour of Canada Bread acquiring all of the other bakery operations of Maple Leaf Foods.  Of the 4.96 million shares voted, approximately 86% were voted in favour of the acquisition.  The transaction is expected to close before December 31, 2002.

"This is a great step forward for Canada Bread," said Richard Lan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Bread.  "This union will transform Canada Bread into a global business, with significant presence across Canada, United States and the United Kingdom.  Becoming one company will allow us to focus our people on shared business and financial performance objectives.  With this approval, our shareholders have set the stage for the next level of growth for Canada Bread."

The Bakery operations of Maple Leaf Foods consists of all of its existing bakery operations in the U.S. and U.K.  Maple Leaf Bakeries is a leading supplier of frozen par-baked bread, rolls and bagels, and fresh and frozen artisan bread products in the U.S., and is the largest bagel producer in the U.K.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world.  Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs more than 15,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and Asia.  Maple Leaf Foods had sales of $4.7 billion in 2001. 

Canada Bread Company, Limited is a leading Canadian manufacturer of value-added flour-based products and fresh pasta to the retail and food service markets.  Canada Bread maintains a national presence in the marketplace with four principal brand names:  Dempster'sTM,  POMTM , Olivieri TM and Tenderflake TM


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