Opta Minerals Acquires Operations in Eastern Europe and Expands Credit Facilities



    TORONTO, September 4 /CNW/ - SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:  STKL) (TSX:SOY) today
announced that Opta Minerals Inc. ("Opta" or "Opta Minerals") (TSX:OPM) has
acquired 100% of the outstanding common shares of Newco a.s. ("Newco") 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 US $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 and
maintains a very high level of customer service.

    The acquisition expands Opta's business capabilities into Europe and
complements existing operations which supply a wide range of desulphurization
products in both the United States 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 US $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."

    About SunOpta Inc.

    SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing
on integrated business models in the natural and organic food, supplements and
health and beauty markets. The Company has three business units: the SunOpta
Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of
natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged
products; the Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM) (66.6% owned by SunOpta), a
producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial
materials; and the SunOpta BioProcess Inc. which engineers and markets
proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food
processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products
and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.

    About Opta Minerals Inc.

    Opta Minerals Inc. is a vertically integrated producer, manufacturer,
distributor and recycler of silica-free loose abrasives, roofing shingle
granules, industrial minerals, specialty sands and related products for use
primarily in the foundry, steel, marine/bridge cleaning, roofing shingle and
municipal water filtration industries. With its head office in Waterdown,
Ontario, the Company also has production and distribution facilities in
Ontario, Quebec, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana,
Michigan, New York and Kosice Slovakia and one of the broadest product lines
in the industry.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    Certain statements included in this press release may constitute
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements
include, but are not limited to references to the expected terms of the
proposed private placement and business strategies, competitive strengths,
goals, capital expenditure plans, business and operational growth plans and
references to the future growth of the business. These forward looking
statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by the Company
in light of its experience and its interpretation of current conditions,
historical trends and expected future developments as well as other factors
that the Company believes are appropriate in the circumstance. However,
whether actual results and developments will agree with expectations and
predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties
including, but not limited to; the company's ability to negotiate successfully
the specific terms of the private placement with investors, general economic,
business or market risk conditions; competitive actions by other companies;
changes in laws or regulations or policies of local governments, provinces and
states as well as the governments of United States and Canada, many of which
are beyond the control of the Company. Consequently all forward-looking
statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there
can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the
Company will be realized.




For further information:

For further information: SunOpta Inc. Jeremy N. Kendall, Chairman Steve
Bromley, President & CEO Joseph Riz, Executive Vice President John Dietrich,
Vice President & CFO Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer 905-455-2528, ext
103 susan.wiekenkamp@sunopta.com www.sunopta.com or Lytham Partners, LLC Joe
Diaz Robert Blum Joe Dorame 602-889-9700 diaz@lythampartners.com

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SUNOPTA INC.

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