US – Netherlands-based international agricultural products trader, Amsterdam Commodities (Acomo) has agreed to buy the global ingredients segment of US food and mineral company SunOpta for €330 million (about US$390 million).
Under the terms of the agreement, SunOpta will offload its processing facilities located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Silistra, Bulgaria; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Yirgalem, Ethiopia.
Following completion of the sale, these facilities and their employees will continue to operate in ordinary course, with approximately 525 employees to be transferred from SunOpta to Acomo.
The acquisition will also see Acomo take ownership of Tradin Organic, which became a part of SunOpta in 2008.
Tradin Organic sources premium, certified organic food ingredients for the international food industry.
“With the exciting acquisition of Tradin, Acomo will realise a highly complementary acquisition, creating a leading global player across organic and conventional unlisted commodities,” Allard Goldschmeding, Acomo group managing director, said.
According to a statement from SunOpta, The divestiture will enable it to focus on its value-added, organic and natural plant-based foods and beverages.
SunOpta further revealed that proceeds from the transaction will be used as capital investment to accelerate its expansion plans for its plant-based foods and beverages segment which has gained traction as consumer preferences shift to more healthy foods.
Plant-based claims for F&B launches are experiencing strong growth globally with a CAGR of 57 percent over the 2015 to 2019 period, compared with 13 percent for vegetarian claims and 22 percent for vegan positionings.
A recent Innova Market Insights Consumer Survey indicated that 58 percent of global consumers prefer plant-based claims when buying meat and/or dairy alternatives.
The sale will thus help SunOpta channel resources to this segment that offers great potential for growth.
“This transaction further solidifies SunOpta’s future direction as a high-growth, plant-based company focused on providing value-added products in competitively advantaged categories with consistent, sustainable, above average growth characteristics,” said Joe Ennen, CEO of SunOpta.
As part of the transaction, SunOpta has negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Acomo.
The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed by January 2021.
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