Media Centre
2004/04/05

Maple Leaf Closes Acquisition of Schneider Foods

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Apr 5, 2004 (CCNMatthews via COMTEX) -- Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. (TSX:MFI) today announced that it has closed the acquisition of Schneider Corporation ("Schneider Foods") from Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD).

"This is long awaited and very exciting news for our two companies," said Michael H. McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer. "It is a transformational event, creating a world class, globally competitive food company, with over 23,000 employees and $6 billion in sales, operating across North America and around the world."

"This transaction has been driven by our longstanding respect for the Schneider Foods organization and its highly successful Schneiders brand," continued Mr. McCain. "Together we will build on our complementary operations, brands and market strengths to grow both domestically and beyond our borders."

"As one team, Schneider Foods and Maple Leaf will realize brand new opportunities resulting from our significantly broadened scale and scope," said Douglas Dodds, President of Schneider Foods. "We both share a passion for innovation. Together we will escalate our ability to rapidly bring new value added products to market, meeting fast-changing consumer appetites for premium quality and convenient meal solutions and adding value for our customers."

Schneider Foods is one of Canada's largest producers of premium branded quality food products, specializing in packaged processed meats, poultry and grocery products, with 2003 sales of approximately $1.2 billion, EBIT of $54 million and EBITDA of $76 million. After closing, Schneider Foods will become an Independent Operating Company of Maple Leaf Foods under the leadership of its existing management. A Merger Leadership Council, chaired by Douglas Dodds, President of Schneider Foods, has been established to guide the process of uniting the two companies.

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 approximately 23,000 people at its operations across Canada, and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company reported sales of $5.1 billion in 2003.

CONTACT:          Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.
                  Lynda Kuhn
                  VP Public and Investor Relations
                  416-926-2026

Copyright (C) 2004, CCNMatthews. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.


More news releases and speeches