Toronto/September 4/Canada NewsWire -- SunOpta Inc. announced that Opta Minerals Inc. has acquired 100% of the outstanding common shares of Newco a.s. of Kosice, Slovakia and has also refinanced its credit facilities with a new lender.

Newco is a supplier of proprietary desulphurization and refractory products with annualized revenues of approximately $7.4 million. All products are produced to the specific requirements of the customers that Newco services within the European steel industry. The company operates from a production facility in Kosice, Slovakia, employs approximately 22 people.

The acquisition expands Opta's business capabilities into Europe and complements existing operations which supply a wide range of desulphurization products in both the U.S. and Canada from operations in Indiana and Ontario.

The purchase price was a combination of cash and one million common shares of Opta Minerals. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to both Opta and SunOpta and will reduce SunOpta's ownership position in Opta Minerals from 70.6% to 66.6%.

In a related matter, Opta Minerals has refinanced its credit facilities, adding approximately $18 million in available financing before the acquisition of Newco. The new credit facilities include an operating line of credit in the amount of $12.5 million; a term loan facility in the amount of $12.5 million and an acquisition facility in the amount of $20.0 million.

Steve Bromley, president and chief executive officer of SunOpta, commented, "These transactions represent a significant step forward in the global expansion of Opta Minerals. The acquisition of Newco is strategically important and positions Opta Minerals on a new continent with products and services very similar to those produced and sold in North America. This financing and acquisition provide Opta with both the resources required to grow plus an excellent strategic platform for growth in Europe in both the industrial minerals and abrasives markets."

From the September 10, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash