TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ - SunOpta Inc. (NASDAQ: STKL) (TSX:SOY) today
announced that it has closed the previously announced private placement for a
minority position in SunOpta BioProcess Inc., formerly the SunOpta BioProcess
Group. In aggregate, SunOpta raised US$30 million before related placement
costs through the issuance of non-dividend bearing, convertible preferred
shares of SunOpta BioProcess Inc. A leading group of global institutional
investors subscribed for the shares. Cannacord Adams acted as lead placement
agent with National Bank Financial as co-placement agent.
The financing was completed at a pre-money valuation of US$200 million.
As a result, SunOpta and the management of the former SunOpta BioProcess Group
have retained approximately 87% of SunOpta BioProcess Inc.
The preferred shares issued entitle holders to one vote per share, are
non-dividend bearing, redeemable in specified circumstances and convertible to
acquire common shares of SunOpta BioProcess Inc. on a one for one basis
(subject to customary anti-dilution adjustments). Investors in the private
placement have been issued warrants to purchase 648,300 common shares of
SunOpta Inc. at any time for a period of six months following closing, at an
exercise price of US$11.57 per share.
Murray Burke, President of SunOpta BioProcess Inc. commented, "This
financing represents a strong endorsement of our technology and leadership
position in cellulosic ethanol. Proceeds will be used to continue development
of our leading edge and patented biomass conversion technologies and
accelerate efforts to build and operate the world's first commercial scale
facility for the conversion of cellulosic biomass to ethanol."
Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta Inc.
commented, "We are extremely pleased to have completed this financing and are
confident that this positions SunOpta BioProcess Inc. for an exceptionally
exciting and prosperous future. SunOpta has been involved in specialized
cellulosic biomass solutions for over thirty years, and this represents yet
another exciting step in the development of our company."
The securities to be sold in the financing will not be registered under
the United States Securities Act of 1933 or any State securities laws and will
not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an
applicable exemption from the registration requirements thereunder.
About SunOpta BioProcess Inc.
SunOpta BioProcess Inc. (SBI) is a leader in the design, construction and
optimization of biomass conversion process technologies, equipment and
facilities. With over 30 years experience in delivering biomass solutions
worldwide, SBI combines its application expertise with innovative and patented
and proprietary technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol, cellulosic
butanol, xylitol, and dietary fiber for human consumption; and is currently
supplying equipment and process technology to the first three commercial
demonstration cellulosic ethanol projects in the U.S., Spain, and China.
SunOpta BioProcess Inc. intends to build and own or co-own commercial scale
cellulosic ethanol production facilities worldwide through relationships such
as the previously announced Joint Venture with GreenField Ethanol, Canada's
largest ethanol producer.
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 Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of
environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the SunOpta BioProcess
Group 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.
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 Tel: 905-455-2528,
ext 103 firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sunopta.com OR Investment
Community Inquiries: Lytham Partners, LLC Joe Diaz Robert Blum Joe Dorame Tel: