July 5/Toronto/GlobeNewswire -- SunOpta Inc. announced the completion of the final step in the divestiture of its Mexican frozen fruit assets with the sale of land and buildings in Irapuato, Mexico, to parties related to Fruvemex Mexicali, S.A. de C.V. These assets were previously leased to Fruvemex as part of an earlier transaction whereby Fruvemex purchased frozen fruit operations and processing assets located in Rosarito and Irapuato, Mexico.

The selling price for the land and buildings was $2.5 million. An initial installment of $250,000 was received on the closing of the transaction, and the balance will be paid via a series of monthly installments over the next year, including a balloon payment on the first anniversary of the closing of this transaction.

Fruvemex is a privately owned Mexican entity headquartered in Mexicali, Mexico.

Steve Bromley, president and chief executive officer of SunOpta, commented, "This divestiture is the final step in the sale of our Mexican frozen fruit assets, aimed at simplifying our frozen fruit business model. Earlier in the year we sold the Mexican frozen fruit operations and processing assets to Fruvemex and also sold our Salinas, California based frozen fruit processing assets to Cal Pacific Specialty Foods (Cal Pacific). We have long term supply relationships with both Fruvemex and Cal Pacific to continue to supply us with IQF fruit and other products. We are now focused on value-added private label frozen fruit products for the retail and food service channel through one processing facility in Buena Park, California, and expect our simplified business model to improve long-term profitability in our frozen fruit operations. Funds from these divestitures will be reinvested in other internal growth projects within the company.


From the July 5, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.