Completes Closure of its Saskatoon Primary Pork Processing Operations
TORONTO, Ontario, May 31, 2007 – Maple Leaf Foods (MFI: TSX) announced that it will close its secondary processing facility located on Kipling Avenue in Etobicoke, Ontario at the end of October 2007.
The Kipling Avenue plant is nearly 50 years old and was part of the Schneider Foods acquisition. The plant produces value-added red meat products, primarily for foodservice customers across Canada. Maple Leaf will be consolidating these operations into its recently acquired facility in Brampton, Ontario. The Brampton plant, which also produces the Simply Fresh line of products, has sufficient space to accommodate this incremental production and further line expansions to support organic growth. The closure will affect approximately 100 employees and Maple Leaf will provide financial and outplacement support for affected employees, including potentially identifying other potential employment opportunities within the Company.
Maple Leaf is making significant investments to accelerate innovation and growth of its value-added meats and meals businesses. With the new investment in equipment and technology to support the consolidation of red meat production at its Brampton operation, Maple Leaf will have invested over $55 million in this facility since acquiring the plant in 2006.
Closure costs, including severance, decommissioning and asset write-downs, are expected to result in a restructuring charge of approximately $5.0 million before tax, most of which is expected to be charged against earnings in 2007.
The Company has also completed the previously announced closure of its primary pork processing operations in Saskatoon, which processed 15,000 to 17,000 hogs per week. This is another important step towards Maple Leaf’s transformation to a value-added meat, meals and bakery company, which includes consolidating its primary pork processing into its Brandon Manitoba plant, where construction and recruiting is underway to support a double shift operation by the fall of 2007.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world. Headquartered in Toronto, the Company employs approximately 24,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.9 billion in 2006.
SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
VP Public & Investor Relations,