BCC is the leading frozen strawberry processor in Baja California, Mexico. Under the terms of the agreement, SunOpta purchased all of the physical assets of the production facility located in Rosarito and also assumed a long-term lease for the facility, located 20 miles south of San Diego, California. In addition, SunOpta entered into five year supply agreements with Andrew & Williamson Sales Co., the San Diego-based former parent of BCC. The agreements provide for the supply of strawberries from both the Baja California and Oxnard, California, growing regions to the Rosarito facility in addition to SunOpta's existing California facilities. As a result, SunOpta expects to add in excess of 20 million pounds of strawberries to the company's integrated supply chain by 2008, resulting in annualized revenues of approximately $14 million.
Andrew Williamson has agreed to provide operational and customer service support to assist SunOpta in transitioning the facility under SunOpta management.
Sergio Varela, president of the SunOpta Fruit Group, commented, "The incremental capacity and raw material supply is critical to meeting the growth in demand in the natural and organic fruit market. This transaction is highly synergistic with our existing berry operations and will significantly improve our ability to serve fast-growing markets."
Steve Bromley, president and chief executive officer of SunOpta Inc., commented, "This transaction is consistent with our strategic plan to expand our global sourcing and production capabilities in order to meet customer demand and ensure reliable and quality supply of natural and organic fruit products. We are extremely pleased with this strategic expansion of our international sourcing and processing capabilities."
From the May 9, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash