Located in Bradford, Ontario and Drummondville, Quebec, the two plants collectively process around 32 million kilos of chicken a year and will be financed through a combination of cash-in-hand and a drawing account.
As part of the deal, Maple Leaf also has the option to acquire Cericola’s primary processing plant in Schomberg, Ontario in three years.
Cericola Farms specialises in air-chilled processing of antibiotic free, animal by-product free and organic poultry products.
Maple Leaf is using the acquisition to build its reputation for raising chickens without antibiotics and to meet growing consumer demand.
It will also provide Maple Leaf with additional supply and value-added processing capabilities.
“Our vision over the past 60 years has been to provide wholesome and natural poultry products to our customers. It is this tradition of excellence that aligns Maple Leaf and Cericola,” said Cericola Farms founder Mary Cericola.
Maple Leaf’s full year results for 2017 revealed fresh poultry sales increased due to “stronger volume and an improved sales mix”.
According to the company, chicken is the most consumed and fastest growing meat protein segment in North America.
The transaction is expected to be completed by August 2018, subject to approval from the Competition Bureau, who review acquirement deals.