Back to Media

Maple Leaf Foods Proceeds to Close the Acquisition of Schneider Corporation

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Mar 30, 2004 (CCNMatthews via COMTEX) — Maple Leaf Foods,
Inc. (TSX:MFI) today announced that it expects to complete the acquisition of
Schneider Corporation (“Schneider Foods”) from Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD)
as the material conditions required to close have been met. The acquisition is
expected to close early in April 2004 for a purchase price of approximately
Cdn$500 million, subject to closing adjustments, which includes the assumption
of approximately $80 million of Schneider Foods’ outstanding debt.

Maple Leaf Foods will initially fund the acquisition price by using a
combination of its existing unused credit facilities, a new short-term bank
facility and the existing debt of Schneider Foods. Shortly after the
acquisition, management will assess the impact of the acquisition on the
Company’s credit ratios, taking into account both recent earnings and the
Schneider Foods contribution to cash flows, and will put in place new long-term
debt and, possibly, equity financing, sufficient to ensure that the Company
maintains debt ratios that provide access to investment grade debt financing.

Schneider Foods is one of Canada’s largest producers of premium branded quality
food products, specializing in packaged processed meats, poultry and grocery
products. The company employs approximately 5,000 people at its 20 facilities
across Canada.

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 18,000 people at its
operations across Canada, and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company
reported sales of $5.0 billion in 2003.

CONTACT:          Lynda Kuhn
                  VP Public and Investor Relations
Copyright (C) 2004, CCNMatthews. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.