SunOpta: Capabilities in Healthy Convenience Foods Category

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SunOpta Inc. announced that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary SunOpta Fruit Group Inc. ("SunOpta Fruit Group") has signed definitive agreements to acquire 100% of the assets and business of Edner of Nevada, Inc., ("Edner") for cash consideration of $4 million, on a debt free basis, subject to post closing working capital adjustments, plus a potential earn-out dependent on the achievement of certain future targets. Edner is a profitable business that will be accretive to SunOpta. The transaction is expected to close in the next several weeks upon the completion of customary closing conditions.

Edner was founded in 2003 by Ed and Vicky Kirschner and produces a wide variety of nutritious portable foods such as nutrition bars and grains and fruit based snack bars serving the fast growing wholesome and convenient healthy snacks category from its 104,000 square foot facility, located in Carson City, Nevada. Edner co-packs for a variety of branded and private label customers and current revenues are approximately $10 million, with equipment and capacity available to support an increase of revenues to approximately $50 million without significant capital investment. Edner's existing operational capabilities will also enable SunOpta to extend the breadth of its fruit based product offerings via the introduction of innovative new products utilizing the capabilities that exist within this facility.

Ed Kirschner, President and owner, commented, "We are pleased to enter into this transaction with SunOpta and to remain engaged with the business, leveraging our joint capabilities. We believe SunOpta provides an excellent platform and fit with Edner's common values and commitment to product innovation and customer service. Vicky and I want to express our sincere appreciation to our dedicated employees for their hard work and commitment and we look forward to working with them as part of the SunOpta family."

Chris Bouchard, President of the SunOpta Healthy Fruit Snacks operations which form part of SunOpta Fruit Group, commented, "We are very pleased to have completed this transaction with Ed and Vicky. Edner is well respected for the innovative products they produce along with their extensive formulation capabilities. We believe we will be able to expand revenues significantly without significant additional capital investment and broaden our product offering with our existing customers. We are delighted that Ed and Vicky will continue in the business for a period of time to support growing and integrating our two businesses."

Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta Inc., commented, "The combination of our Healthy Fruit Snacks operations and our global sourcing capabilities for healthy ingredients with Edner's business and extensive capabilities will allow us to strengthen our healthy product offering in the rapidly growing healthy convenience foods category. We are excited about the possibilities for growth once we put our businesses and skill sets together. This acquisition is consistent with our strategy to grow our core value-added natural and organic foods platform, creating strong market positions in niche categories. We would like to welcome Ed, Vicky and the Edner team to the SunOpta family."

About Healthy Fruit Snacks

Healthy Fruit Snacks is an operating division within SunOpta Fruit Group. The division produces natural and organic fruit snacks and operates from a processing facility in Omak, Washington. Its products include all natural fruit bars, ropes, twists and other shapes made primarily from apple puree and coming in a variety of flavors. In the last several years, Omak has expanded significantly by adding capacity for an additional 140 million units per year, effectively doubling their throughput.

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods and natural health products. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.4% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, management's expectations regarding the combination of the business, revenue and earnings expectations of the acquired business, the growth of the portable foods industry and the market position of the combined business. Terms and phrases such as "leveraging," "strengthen," "we believe," "enable," and "estimated increase" and other similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on information available to us on the date of this release and are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors the Company believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Whether actual timing and results will be consistent with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the company's expectations and predictions, including the success of the combination of the businesses and demand for nutritious portable foods as well as those risks detailed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (available at 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.

SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

CONTACT:  SunOpta Inc.
Steve Bromley, President & CEO
Eric Davis, Vice President & CFO
Tony Tavares, Vice President & COO
Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer
905-455-2528, ext 103
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