The Financial Post reports in its Tuesday, Oct. 22, edition that Maple Leaf Foods said Monday it may sell its controlling interest in Canada Bread as it determines whether to exit the bakery business and focus on meat products. The Post's Euan Rochya and Rod Nickel write that in the event of a sale, Maple Leaf said it would consider using the proceeds to pay down debt, reinvest in its business and return capital to shareholders.
The potential sale of its Canada Bread interest, following a deal in August to sell its rendering business, does not signal that Maple Leaf itself is for sale, says chief executive officer Michael McCain. He says, unequivocally, that Maple Leaf is not for sale.
Canada Bread has a market capitalization of about $1.66-billion. It employs about 6,400 people in operations spread across Canada, the United States and Britain. It is one of two dominant Canadian bakers, along with food producer George Weston. Mr. McCain says Maple Leaf will likely have to go outside Canada to avoid competition concerns.
For a foreign investor to buy Canada Bread, approval by the Canadian government would be necessary.
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