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Parent Maple Leaf Foods seeking new options for Canada Bread

(CBC News)Toronto-based Canada Bread Company Ltd. says it has sold Olivieri Foods, its fresh pasta and sauce business, to Spain’s Ebro Foods in a $120-million deal.

The Olivieri line of pasta and sauces is to be sold to Spain's Ebro Foods by Canada Bread. (CBC)


Pending regulatory approval, the purchase is expected to close by the end of the year.

Olivieri Foods, which had total sales in 2012 of $105.5 million, employs 375 people in Hamilton, Ont., and Delta, B.C.

“This sale represents an excellent opportunity to optimize the value of our fresh pasta business, while realizing its potential under a company dedicated to expanding in the global pasta industry,” said Richard Lan, President and CEO.

Ebro is a multinational maker of fresh pasta, rice products and sauces. Antonio Hernández Callejas, chairman of Ebro Foods, said the purchase “will enable us to enter the fresh pasta and sauces segment in Canada through the leading brand.”

Canada Bread is 90 per cent owned by Maple Leaf Foods, which said earlier this week that it was exploring options with its bakery business, including putting it up for sale. In addition to the Olivieri line, Canada Bread markets brands such as Dempster’s, Olafson’s, POM and Ben’s.

Maple Leaf has been scouring its operations for cost savings as part of a seven-year restructuring plan that would improve the profits of the overall business, which is primarily focused on meat products.