Maple Leaf Foods plans to spin off pork business

If the necessary approvals are obtained, the change is expected to occur in 2025.

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Courtesy Maple Leaf Foods

Canadian meat, poultry and plant-based protein producer Maple Leaf Foods plans to spin off its pork business into a separate company.

“This transaction is the start of a new era to unlock the full potential of two outstanding businesses, each with a distinct value proposition and growth opportunities,” Maple Leaf Foods President and CEO Curtis Frank said in a press release.

“As separate companies, Maple Leaf Foods and the new pork company will each have exciting prospects, a sharpened execution focus with its own dedicated management team, and the financial independence to pursue its own value creation strategy, all with an uncompromising commitment to safety and sustainability.

Under the proposed plan, Maple Leaf Foods will retain a 19.9 percent ownership of the new, yet-to-be-named pork company, and both companies will enter into an evergreen pork supply agreement designed to deliver value for both businesses, while also allowing the two companies to pursue individual value-creation opportunities. The proposed agreement would allow the independent pork company to continue to provide Maple Leaf Foods with a secure supply of pork for Maple Leaf’s Prepared Foods business at market prices. Maple Leaf will, in turn, provide brokerage services in North America for the pork company.

Dennis Organ, who presently is pork complex president for Maple Leaf Foods, has been selected to be the CEO of the new company. Organ has been with Maple Leaf since February 2023. Previously, he was CEO of Smithfield Foods.

“The new pork company will offer investors direct access to one of the world’s foremost, premium value-added pork producers with a clear vision to produce meat the right way while delivering industry-leading financial performance,” said Organ. “We are already setting the standard for best practices in sustainability, animal welfare, and high-quality pork production. We have seen positive momentum in the business in recent quarters as pork markets continue to normalize following several years of material disruption, and we are extremely well-positioned as a standalone company to leverage our unique advantages to drive growth and generate value.”

The potential separation of the businesses has already gained approval from the Maple Leaf Foods board of directors, but it remains subject to shareholder approval at an upcoming special meeting of Maple Leaf Foods shareholders, as well as other customary approvals. The proposed deal is expected to be finalized in 2025.

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