TORONTO — George Weston Limited announced Oct. 26 that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Weston Foods fresh and frozen bakery businesses to affiliated entities of FGF Brands Inc. for aggregate cash consideration of $1.2 billion. The purchase price represents approximately a 10.0x multiple on the 2021 estimated EBITDA of the Weston Foods fresh and frozen bakery businesses. The fresh and frozen bakery businesses comprised approximately 75% of Weston Foods' 2020 net sales. George Weston continues to be committed to selling its remaining ambient business – comprised of cookies, cones, crackers and wafers, and is actively engaged in that process.
"The Weston Foods business has been the foundation for the Weston Group in Canada since its establishment in 1882 and the decision to sell it was a difficult one" said Galen G. Weston, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "However, we are pleased that the purchaser of the fresh and frozen businesses is FGF, another long-standing family business with a strong presence in bakery and a significant footprint in Canada. With FGF as the new owner, the business will be in good hands."
"We are thrilled to be acquiring the fresh and frozen businesses of Weston Foods, a Canadian company with over 100 years of baking experience," said FGF Co-Founder Tejus Ajmera. "And we look forward to building on that legacy by investing in people, facilities, and innovation across our entire operations, in collaboration with Weston Foods president Luc Mongeau and his team."
"FGF remains a startup at heart and this acquisition allows us to bring that same drive for disruption to more teams, brands, and customers than ever before, as we pursue our vision to become the world's greatest baker," added FGF Co-Founder Ojus Ajmera.
George Weston announced on March 23, 2021 that it decided to sell its bakery segment and to focus on its Retail and Real Estate businesses. The Company expects to return the net proceeds from the transaction to shareholders through share repurchases over time. In the interim, the Company is committed to ensuring that a smooth transition plan is in place as Weston Foods continues to support its customers and workforce.
The transaction is subject to compliance with the Competition Act (Canada) and the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other closing conditions customary in transactions of this nature. Subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary transaction closing conditions, George Weston expects to close the transaction before the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Houlihan Lokey and CIBC Capital Markets are serving as financial advisors to George Weston and Mayer Brown LLP and Torys LLP are acting as legal advisors.
Scotiabank is serving as financial advisor to FGF and Stikeman Elliott LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP are acting as legal advisors.
The Weston Foods fresh and frozen bakery businesses comprise a leading North American manufacturer, serving retail and foodservice customers with packaged fresh bread and rolls and alternatives, as well as frozen and artisan bread and rolls, cakes, donuts and pies throughout Canada and the United States. The company produces private label products and many well – known brands including Wonder, ACE Bakery, Country Harvest, D'Italiano, Casa Mendosa, Dave's Killer Bread and Gadoua.
About George Weston Limited
George Weston Limited is a Canadian public company founded in 1882. The Company operates through its three reportable operating segments, Loblaw Companies Limited, Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust and Weston Foods. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services and wireless mobile products and services. Choice Properties owns, manages and develops a high-quality portfolio of commercial retail, industrial, office and residential properties across Canada. The Weston Foods operating segment includes a leading North American bakery that offers packaged bread and rolls in Canada as well as frozen and artisan bread and rolls, cakes, donuts, pies, biscuits and alternatives throughout Canada and the United States.
FGF Brands is a Canadian, family-owned bakery company founded in 2004. "A technology company that bakes," FGF combines innovations in robotics, AI systems, and supply chain solutions with a commitment to making quality food with the cleanest possible ingredients. FGF operates in 7 bakery categories and owns multiple brands, including Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads and Simple Joys Bakery, manufactured in bakery locations across Canada and the United States, with its Home Office in Toronto, Ontario. FGF takes a product-first approach to its business, with a focus on long-term capital investment, focused Team Member development, and a culture of continuous improvement.