Recent News and Announcements from Centre Partners
TORONTO, Jan 14, 2005 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — Connors Bros. Income Fund (TSX: CBF.UN; the “Fund”) today announced that its Bumble Bee Seafoods, LLC subsidiary (“Bumble Bee”) has completed the previously-announced acquisition of Castleberry/Snow’s Brands, Inc. (“Castleberry’s”) and the concurrent purchase of substantially all of the assets comprising Sara Lee Corporation’s shelf-stable meats business, including a license for the use of the Bryan(R) brand for shelf- stable meats. The total consideration payable of approximately U.S.$138 million is being funded, in part, from the proceeds of the Fund’s offering of ordinary trust units, which was completed on January 13. The transactions are expected to be immediately accretive to the Fund’s distributable cash. The Fund has approved an increase in its targeted annual per unit cash distributions by approximately 7%, to $1.50 from $1.40, effective with the February 2005 distribution.
Castleberry’s is a manufacturer and marketer of regionally prominent, shelf-stable prepared foods. It currently holds the leading U.S. position in canned clams, clam juice, and hot dog chili sauce, the second-largest U.S. position for branded beef stew, and the number three brand position in the clam chowder category.
The Sara Lee shelf-stable meats business consists of canned and pouched chicken, beef and pork products, which are sold in the retail and foodservice marketplaces, primarily under the Sweet Sue(R) and Bryan(R) brands. The Sweet Sue(R) brand is the U.S. leader in the chicken and dumpling and chicken pouch categories, with regional strength in canned chicken breast and chicken broth products. The Bryan(R) brand is a leader in canned meat products in several markets in the United States, and will be used under license from Sara Lee, which will continue to retain ownership of the brand to produce and sell frozen and refrigerated packaged meat products under the Bryan(R) name.
About Connors Bros. Income Fund
Connors Bros. Income Fund, Canada’s largest consumer products income fund, is a limited purpose trust established under the laws of Ontario that indirectly holds, through its subsidiaries, a controlling interest in Clover Leaf Seafoods, L.P. and Bumble Bee Seafoods, LLC. Clover Leaf(R) is the brand leader of seafood products in Canada, while Bumble Bee(R) is the leading brand of canned albacore tuna, salmon, and specialty seafood in the United States. Castleberry’s and the Sweet Sue(R) and Bryan(R) brands offer complimentary canned seafood and protein products, adding several leading product lines to the Connors and Bumble Bee businesses’ portfolio and strengthening their position as brand leaders in quality seafood and canned protein products.
Forward Looking Statements
The statements contained in this news release that are forward-looking are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks, and actual results may differ materially. These uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to: availability of resource, competitive pressures and changes in market activity, risks associated with U.S. and international sales and foreign exchange, and regulatory requirements. Further information can be found in the disclosure documents filed by Connors Bros. Income Fund with the securities regulatory authorities, available at www.sedar.com.
References in this press release to “EBITDA” are to earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, after giving effect to foreign currency gains or losses. Management of the Fund believes that, in addition to net earnings, EBITDA is a useful complementary measure of cash available for distribution prior to debt service, capital expenditures and income taxes. However, EBITDA is not a recognized measure under Canadian or U.S. GAAP and does not have a standardized meaning pres