October 2, 2018, Mississauga, Ont. – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire VIAU Foods, a Canadian manufacturer of premium Italian cooked, dry-cured and charcuterie meats for a purchase price of $215 million, including $30 million in Maple Leaf stock. With sales of $180 million over the last twelve months, the transaction is expected to be accretive to Maple Leaf’s earnings per share in the first year and to the Company’s margin expansion over time.
Established in 1977, VIAU produces a range of value-added prepared meat products including Italian cooked meats, sausages, pizza toppings, shaved steak and meatballs, and is the Canadian market leader in cooked and dry-cured pepperoni. It also produces a range of gourmet deli and premium charcuterie products including salametti, capicollo, pancetta and sliced chorizo. VIAU is a leading supplier of dried pepperoni and other pizza toppings to the North American foodservice industry and markets its products through retailers across Canada.
The company employs 470 people at its two Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Safe Quality Food (SQF) accredited facilities in Laval and Montreal. It follows leading food safety practices, supported by an on-site ISO accredited laboratory. The business will continue to be led by the current highly experienced management team.
Maple Leaf Food president and CEO Michael McCain said in a release that the acquisition will expand Maple Leaf’s position in the growing market for premium dry cured and pepperoni meat products, and “provides further production capacity in Quebec, an important strategic base to grow both Canadian and U.S. sales.”
McCain said Maple Leaf’s expertise in raised without antibiotic products will allow VIAU to expand its product portfolio. Maple Leaf’s resources will also allow VIAU to grow its business more quickly and “make further inroads into the U.S. market,” said VIAU president and COO Pat De Marco.
The transaction will be financed through a combination of cash-on-hand and drawings under Maple Leaf’s existing credit facility and is expected to close in December, subject to regulatory review.