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Maple Leaf Foods Launches Formal Process to Divest its Animal Nutrition Business, the Largest in Canada


TORONTO, Nov 30, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Maple Leaf Foods (MFI: TSX) today announced that it has retained RBC Capital Markets as its financial advisor to assist in the divestiture of Maple Leaf Animal Nutrition and related businesses. The process will entail a solicitation of interest from potential purchasers and is expected to begin in January 2007.

"The decision to divest of this business results from a reorganization of the Company's protein value chain operations, which includes our feed business, to focus on growth in the value added meats and meals markets. Operating a largely independent animal nutrition company is strategically not aligned to this new model," said Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer of Maple Leaf Foods. "Maple Leaf Animal Nutrition is an outstanding business built by a highly experienced management team and employees, with long-standing customer relationships, world-class animal nutrition R&D technology, and excellent growth prospects that will be best realized through the sale of this business."

Maple Leaf Animal Nutrition is Canada's leading animal nutrition organization, supported by well known and trusted brands, including Shur-Gain in Eastern Canada and Landmark Feeds in Western Canada. Excluding assets that will be retained to service its own hog production operations in Western Canada, the business has sales of approximately $650 million and provides a broad range of animal nutrition products and services including swine, dairy, beef, poultry, aquaculture and pet food. Its strong customer relationships and leading market shares are supported by a world class research farm in Burford, Ontario, and ongoing investments in research and development to continuously improve animal health and performance.

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 24,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company had sales of $6.1 billion in 2005.

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer, MAPLE LEAF FOODS INC., (416) 926-2048

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