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SunOpta Acquires Value-Added Bulgarian Processing Operation

Stocks in this article: STKL

TORONTO, Jan. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today announced that the Company has completed the acquisition of a value-added grains handling and processing facility located in Silistra, Bulgaria. The facility is currently a strategic supplier for SunOpta, producing value-added sunflower kernel, oil and related by-products. The acquisition further expands the Company's global sourcing platform and value-added ingredient capabilities. 

The facility, operated as the Organic Land Corporation OOD (OLC), was acquired by The Organic Corporation B.V. (TOC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and a division of the International Foods Group. The purchase price was EUR 3.2 million, inclusive of debt, and is subject to normal closing adjustments.  Key personnel will remain with the operations and the former shareholders of OLC will be eligible for an earn-out over the next three years based on specified EBITDA targets. The acquisition was funded via existing credit facilities.

Silistra is located in north east Bulgaria, close to the Black Sea and the Danube River Delta. Located nearby in Romania is a sizable agricultural area that is protected and chemical free, with many growers producing organic products including sunflower, flax seed, corn, barley and soy beans. The Company intends to expand its presence in this region across these key product categories and will also expand the facility by adding additional storage and processing capabilities to maximize supply sources for value-added processing.

Gerard Versteegh, President of the SunOpta International Foods Group commented; "The acquisition of OLC allows us to expand our product offerings in both value-added organic sunflower kernel and organic sunflower oil.  The location is ideal for securing supply of organic raw materials for further processing and will allow us to expand our capabilities into other organic products that are grown in the UNESCO protected area within the Danube River Delta. We would like to welcome the former employees of OLC to TOC and SunOpta."

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