MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods has signed an agreement with Brynwood Partners VI L.P. to acquire Lightlife Foods Inc. — a U.S.-based manufacturer of refrigerated plant-based protein foods — for US$140 million.
“Expanding into the fast-growing plant-based proteins market is one of Maple Leaf’s strategic growth platforms and supports our commitment to becoming a leader in sustainability,” says Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “Consumers are increasingly looking to diversify their protein consumption, including plant-based options. The acquisition of Lightlife provides Maple Leaf with a leading market position and brand in the U.S. in a category that is outpacing growth in the broader packaged foods sector. We will expand our presence through investment in brand building, innovation and leveraging our respective capabilities.”
In 2016, Lifelight reported US$40 million in sales and a 38-per-cent market share of the refrigerated plant-based protein market in the U.S. The company currently employs roughly 100 people at its facility in Turner Falls, Mass. The company produces 30 different products, which include plant-based tempeh, hot dogs, burgers and breakfast foods. Its current management team will continue to lead the company, which will operate as a subsidiary of Maple Leaf, following the completion of the acquisition.
Maple Leaf will be financing the transaction with cash on hand. The deal is subject to receipt of U.S. regulatory approvals and is expected to close in March.