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OTPP sells its shares in food processor

Toronto-based food processor’s shares take a hit the day after the sale


Toronto – The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board (OTPP) has ended a 15-year relationship with a Toronto-based food processor.

The OTPP announced on Tuesday that it sold its entire 25.2 per cent interest or 34.5 million common shares in Maple Leaf Foods Inc. The OTPP is the company’s second-largest shareholder.

The Canadian Press reports that the OTPP had planned to sell about 21 million common shares, but that same day increased it to all its shares after finding there was enough demand for its entire holding.

The StarPhoenix.com out of Saskatoon reports that Maple Leaf shares plunged 10 per cent the following day.

The OTPP says it sold its holdings for $10.50 per common share. The transaction is expected to close on or about Dec. 16.

The Canadian Press story reports that the shares were sold for about 17 per cent below the market price of $12.69.

The OTPP had notified McCain Capital Corp. in July 2009 that it would terminate the agreement it had with Maple Leaf, effective at the end of June 2010.

The story goes on to say that the OTPP sold a 10 per cent stake in the food processor to a hedge fund in August this year. Those shares were also sold at a significant discount.