Maple Leaf Foods might further expand presence in US

Any acquisitions would need to be consistent with Maple Leaf Foods’ sustainability ambitions and be timed appropriately, CEO says.

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Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods President and CEO Curtis Frank said the company does have expansion on its mind, and it is keeping its eyes open for potential acquisitions, including ones that could increase its footprint in the United States.

Frank, during a quarterly earnings call on August 3, said he sees three phases for the path forward for Maple Leaf Foods. The first is improving its margins, something he said the company is making good progress toward.

He said the company is also placing emphasis on bringing its two latest expansion projects -- the new poultry plant in London, Ontario, and the Bacon Center of Excellence in Winnipeg, Manitoba – fully online and operating at maximum efficiency.

From there, Frank said, the company would look for expansion opportunities.

“I don’t want you to feel like there’s something imminent or in the immediate pipeline,” Frank said, but the company has been forward thinking enough to consider where it would like to pursue growth opportunities.

“The areas of focus would be geographic expansion, predominantly into the United States,” he said.

Currently, Maple Leaf Foods has three plants in the United States. Those are in Indianapolis, Indiana; Seattle, Washington; and Turners Falls, Massachusetts. All three facilities are part of its Greenleaf Foods plant-based protein subsidiary.

Frank didn’t specifically mention what agrifood sectors they were considering for growth, but he did say they wanted any acquisition targets to be a “high-margin, branded consumer packaged goods,” company, and one that would be consistent with Maple Leaf’s sustainability ambitions.

He also said any potential acquisitions would be “timed appropriately to reflect our commitment to getting our balance sheet back down.”

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