Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has unveiled a plan to separate into two independent public companies.

Maple Leaf Foods will continue to pursue its vision to a sustainable protein company, now as a brand-led consumer packaged goods company. It will spin off its pork business, the name of which will be announced in the coming months.

"This transaction is the start of a new era to unlock the full potential of two outstanding businesses, each with a distinct value proposition and growth opportunities," says Curtis Frank, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. "As separate companies, Maple Leaf Foods and the new pork company will each have exciting prospects, a sharpened execution focus with its own dedicated management team, and the financial independence to pursue its own value creation strategy, all with an uncompromising commitment to safety and sustainability."

Maple Leaf Foods will retain a 19.9% ownership position in the new pork company, and the two companies will enter into an evergreen pork supply agreement which will deliver value for both businesses, while also allowing them to pursue their individual value creation opportunities. Maple Leaf Foods will provide the new pork company with brokerage services in North America, as well as certain other services.

The plan to proceed with the separation, which is expected to be completed in 2025, has been approved by the Board of Directors of Maple Leaf Foods, on the recommendation of a special committee of the Board, composed entirely of independent directors, and has the full support of Maple Leaf Foods' largest and controlling shareholder, McCain Capital Inc. and the McCain family.

Maple Leaf Foods will continue to be led Frank, as well as Adam Grogan, president and COO; and David Smales, CFO. The new pork company will go forward with a management team led by incoming CEO Dennis Organ. Organ joined Maple Leaf Foods in February 2023 as president, Pork Complex. Organ has more than 27 years of experience in the food industry, including 11 years with Smithfield Foods, where he held a variety of senior leadership roles, including chief operating officer and chief executive officer.

"This is the right transaction at the right time as we move forward with our sustainability vision, seeking to create value for all stakeholders," says Michael H. McCain, executive chair of Maple Leaf Foods. "Under Curtis' leadership, Maple Leaf Foods is on a path to deliver best-in-class consumer packaged goods performance, while the new pork company, under the leadership of Dennis, will be unleashed to leverage its unique capabilities and industry-leading performance to take advantage of new prospects for growth. I am passionate about both of these businesses and have absolute confidence in the powerful potential of this transaction. Our shareholders will be able to participate in not one, but two strong, independent, sustainable and purpose-driven businesses, each with a clear mandate and investment profile, and all our stakeholders will participate in the shared value we will generate."