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Maple Leaf Foods closes $70 million private placement

TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2008 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) — TSX: MFI

Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI) is pleased to announce that it has closed its previously announced financing to issue, on a private placement basis, 7,368,421 units at a price of $9.50 per unit for aggregate proceeds of $70 million. The net proceeds after issuance costs will be used for general corporate purposes.

“This financing provides Maple Leaf Foods with the flexibility to support our strategic initiatives and rebuild our business through these difficult credit markets,” said Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer. At the same time, the structure provides the Company with the flexibility of minimizing dilution to existing shareholders. The transaction reflects the strong support of our major shareholders and other new investors, who are confident in our ability to build shareholder value.”

Each unit will consist of one subscription receipt for Maple Leaf Foods common shares and 0.4 common share purchase warrants. Each subscription receipt will entitle the holder to receive one common share of the Company on August 4, 2009 or, at the election of the Company, the return in cash of all the unit proceeds at a value of $9.50 per unit. Each whole common share purchase warrant is exercisable into one common share of the Company until December 16, 2010 at a price of $9.50.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 23,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. The company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2007.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This press release is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States. The securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer, (416) 926-2048