|TORONTO, Mar 27, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta or the Company) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY)
today announced that the SunOpta Fruit Group has expanded strategic
relationships in Argentina and Chile and has entered into exclusive
agreements to expand supply of key fruit products from these regions.
The Company stated that it has entered into strategic exclusive
agreements with reputable local fruit industry leaders to develop
supply opportunities in the organic and natural frozen fruit industry.
The agreements increase SunOpta's supply of natural and organic
strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, apple and pear purees and
fruit and vegetable concentrates from an important supply region.
The Company entered into a five year exclusive supply agreement
with Baby's Best Infant Food Ingredients S.A., a producer of organic
and natural purees and concentrates in Mendoza, Argentina. The
agreement ensures SunOpta of a constant and growing source of critical
commodities. Under the terms of the agreement, SunOpta will provide a
line of credit to enable Baby's Best to acquire a 45,000 square foot
production facility in Mendoza to ensure SunOpta's supply chain. In
addition, SunOpta received a first right of refusal and an option to
acquire all of the outstanding shares of Baby's Best and related
companies based on a predetermined formula, exercisable in March 2009.
The Company has also entered into a three year exclusive organic
supply agreement with a leading processor of organic and natural
frozen fruits in Chile. Under the terms of the agreement SunOpta will
finance a capital expansion to further develop growth in critical
organic supply over the next three years.
Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta
commented that "We have had an excellent relationship with these
companies over the past number of years and are delighted to expand
these relationships to ensure our customers of a high quality,
reliable and growing source of key organic products. These
transactions reflect our strategy of extending our international
sourcing capabilities for products that are in short supply globally."
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses,
focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic
food, supplements and health and beauty markets. The Company has three
business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing,
processing and distribution of natural and organic food products
integrated from seed through packaged products; the Opta Minerals
Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally
friendly industrial materials; and the SunOpta BioProcess Group (soon
to become SunOpta BioProcess Inc.) which engineers and markets
proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel
and food processing industries. Each of these business units has
proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive
advantage in its sector.
Certain statements included in this press release may constitute
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These
forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to references
to business strategies, competitive strengths, goals, capital
expenditure plans, business and operational growth plans and
references to the future growth of the business. These forward looking
statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by the
Company in light of its experience and its interpretation of current
conditions, historical trends and expected future developments as well
as other factors that the Company believes are appropriate in the
circumstance. However, whether actual results and developments will
agree with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to
many risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to; general
economic, business or market risk conditions; competitive actions by
other companies; changes in laws or regulations or policies of local
governments, provinces and states as well as the governments of United
States and Canada, many of which are beyond the control of the
Company. Consequently all forward-looking statements made herein are
qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance
that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company
will be realized.
SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.
Jeremy N. Kendall, Chairman
Steve Bromley, President & CEO
Joseph Riz, Executive Vice President
John Dietrich, Vice President & CFO
Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer
Tel: 905-455-2528, ext 103
Investment Community Inquiries:
Lytham Partners, LLC
Joe Diaz, Robert Blum or Joe Dorame, 602-889-9700