Back to Media

Maple Leaf Foods Exploring Strategic Alternatives for its Bakery Business

TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2013 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) –TSX: MFI

Maple Leaf Foods (MFI: TSX) today
announced that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Bakery
business, including a potential sale of the Company’s 90% ownership
interest in Canada Bread Company, Ltd. (“Canada Bread”)

Maple Leaf embarked on a strategy seven years ago to increase scale,
productivity and profitability in its protein operations. The Company
is now in the final phase of executing this strategy, which is on track
to be completed by 2015 and is expected to deliver significant returns
to shareholders.

Maple Leaf has recently completed a comprehensive review of
opportunities to accelerate profitable growth across its global Bakery
business, which it conducts through its 90% owned subsidiary, Canada
Bread. Before committing organizational focus, investment and
resources to implement this strategy, Maple Leaf’s Board and management
have decided to explore other strategic alternatives, including a sale
of the Company’s 90% interest in Canada Bread, a process that is
expected to conclude in early 2014. There are significant growth
opportunities in the baked goods sector that may be pursued, either as
part of Maple Leaf or under new ownership. Maple Leaf believes that
either outcome would result in a strong commitment to realizing the
full potential of this business.

“We are confident that our Bakery business can deliver significantly
higher levels of profitable growth; the only question is how best to
realize the future value of this business,” said Michael H. McCain,
President and CEO. “The recently completed Bakery strategy will require
organizational focus and resources to implement. This process gives us
the opportunity to determine the best path forward for Maple Leaf, our
shareholders and our Bakery business.”

David L. Emerson, Chair of the Maple Leaf Board, said, “The Board and
management are united in supporting this process, which will ensure we
make the best decision for Maple Leaf while continuing to pursue the
significant growth opportunities in our value- added, branded meat

Maple Leaf has established a committee of independent directors to
oversee the process and recommend the use of proceeds in the event of a
sale, which may include a combination of debt repayment, reinvestment
in the business and returning capital to shareholders.

There can be no assurance that the process being undertaken by Maple
Leaf will result in the consummation of any transaction. No decision to
sell Maple Leaf’s interest in Canada Bread has been made and Maple Leaf
may ultimately conclude that it will not sell its interest in Canada
Bread. After completion of the conference call referenced below, Maple
Leaf does not intend to comment further regarding the process being
undertaken until such time that it deems disclosure appropriate.

Investor Conference Call Details
Maple Leaf Foods will host a conference call with the investment community today
October 21, 2013 at 10:00 am ET to discuss this announcement. To
participate in the conference call, please call 416-695-7806 /
1-888-789-9572, Passcode 7824681. A playback will be made available
following one hour after the event at 905-694-9451 / 1-800-408-3053,
Passcode 7763765. If you are unable to participate, the webcast will be
archived and available on the Company’s website at under the Presentations & Webcasts section.

About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company,
headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately
19,500 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States,
the United Kingdom, and Asia.

About Canada Bread
Canada Bread is a leading manufacturer and marketer of value-added flour
based products, including fresh bread, rolls, bagels and sweet goods,
frozen partially baked or par-baked breads and bagels, and specialty
pasta and sauces. The Company markets products under a number of
leading brand names, including Dempster’s®, Olafson’s, POM®, Ben’s® and
Olivieri®. The Company is 90% owned by Maple Leaf Foods Inc. and its
common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker
symbol CBY.

Forward Looking Statements
This document and statements made in the above noted conference call may
contain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable
securities law. Such statements include, but are not limited to,
expectations regarding the timing and outcome of the protein
transformation strategy including the delivery of significant returns
to shareholders, expectations regarding the timing and outcome of Maple
Leaf’s strategic review of its Bakery business including realizing the
full potential of this business, whether or not a sale transaction will
be completed and any use of proceeds flowing from a completed sale
transaction. These statements are not guarantees of future events
and involve assumptions and risks and uncertainties that are difficult
to predict. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed,
implied or forecasted in such forward-looking information. Some of the
factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ
materially from the results expressed, implied or forecasted by such
forward-looking information, including some of the assumptions used in
making such statements, is discussed more fully in the Company’s Annual
Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the period ended December 31,
2012 including the section entitled “Risk Factors”, that are updated
each quarter in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis, and are
available on SEDAR at Maple Leaf does not intend to, and Maple Leaf disclaims any obligation
to, update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Investor Contact: Nick Boland, Vice President Investor Relations 416-926-2005
Media Contact: David Bauer, Corporate Communications 416-926-2020