Canadian Manufacturing

Maple Leaf Foods selling rendering, biodiesel business for $645M

Texas-based Darling International Inc. buying Rothsay unit, seven plants from food giant

TORONTO—Maple Leaf Foods announced it is selling its rendering and biodiesel business to Texas-based Darling International Inc. for about $645-million.

According to the Canadian food giant, its Rothsay business operates six renderings plants across Canada, including in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, and a biodiesel facility in Quebec.

Maple Leaf president and CEO Michael McCain said the sale is part of his firm’s plan to focus solely on consumer packaged foods.

“The sale will support future investments in our consumer facing businesses and allow Darling to build on Rothsay’s strong capabilities and deep customer relationships,” McCain said in a statement about the sale.

Rothsay had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITA) of approximately $85-million in 2012.

It employs approximately 550 people, who will transition to Darling once the transaction closes, Maple Leaf said.

Darling is the largest provider of rendering and bakery residuals recycling solutions to the United States food industry, recycling beef, poultry and pork by-products.

The company also recovers and converts used cooking oil and commercial bakery residuals into valuable feed and fuel ingredients.

According to Maple Leaf, it plans to enter into a long-term agreement with Darling to receive by-products recycling services from the Irving, Texas-based firm once the transaction closes.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals.

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