U.S. private investment firm Oaktree Capital Management has increased its equity interest in SunOpta Inc (TSX: SOY, Nasdaq: STKL), a Canadian producer of organic and specialty foods. Last week, Oaktree acquired 3.7 million common shares at US$7.50 per unit, growing its stake to about 19.81 percent of outstanding shares. In October 2016, Oaktree agreed to invest $85 million in exchangeable preferred shares in Toronto-based SunOpta to help the company reduce its second lien debt and increase flexibility. The deal limited Oaktree’s total investment to 19.99 percent.
Oaktree Acquires Additional Shares of SunOpta
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), a leading global alternative investment management firm, announced today that funds managed by Oaktree (the “Investors”) have increased their beneficial ownership in common shares (the “Common Shares”) of SunOpta Inc. (“SunOpta”).
On December 15, 2017, the Investors acquired 3,700,000 Common Shares in the aggregate through the facilities of the NASDAQ exchange, at a price of US$7.50 per share.
Following such acquisition, the Investors now beneficially own an aggregate of: (i) 8,092,699 Common Shares that they acquired through the facilities of the NASDAQ exchange; and (ii) 85,000 Series A preferred shares (the “Preferred Shares”) of SunOpta Foods, Inc., a subsidiary of SunOpta, which were acquired in connection with the previously announced private placement transaction completed on October 7, 2016 (the “Private Placement”).
The Preferred Shares are currently exchangeable into 11,333,333 Common Shares, representing approximately 11.56% of the outstanding Common Shares on a partially diluted basis (excluding all other securities convertible or exchangeable into Common Shares). Taken together with the 8,092,699 Common Shares acquired through the facilities of the NASDAQ exchange, the Investors beneficially own an aggregate of 19,426,032 Common Shares on an as-exchanged basis, representing approximately 19.81% of the outstanding Common Shares on a partially diluted basis (excluding all other securities convertible or exchangeable into Common Shares).
The Investors acquired the Common Shares and the Preferred Shares for investment purposes, and the Investors intend to continuously evaluate the businesses and prospects of SunOpta and its subsidiaries, alternative investment opportunities and all other factors deemed relevant in determining whether additional securities of SunOpta will be acquired by the Investors or by other accounts or funds associated with the Investors, or whether the Investors or any such other accounts or funds will dispose of the Preferred Shares or Common Shares. At any time, subject to the limitations set forth in the definitive agreements entered into in connection with the Private Placement, additional securities of SunOpta or its subsidiaries may be acquired or some or all of the securities beneficially owned by the Investors may be sold, in either case in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, including, without limitation, by electing to exchange Preferred Shares into Common Shares, or by increasing or decreasing holdings in Preferred Shares or in Common Shares.
An early warning report with additional information in respect of the foregoing matters will be filed and made available on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Review (SEDAR) at www.sedar.com under SunOpta’s issuer profile. The Investors are Oaktree Organics, L.P. and Oaktree Huntington Investment Fund II, L.P. In order to obtain a copy of the early warning report, you may also contact Alyssa Linn of Sard Verbinnen & Co. on behalf of Oaktree, at telephone number: 310-201-2040. Oaktree’s address is 333 South Grand Ave., 28th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071. SunOpta’s address is 2233 Argentia Road, Suite 401, Mississauga, Ontario, L5N 2X7.
Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with US$100 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2017. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in distressed debt, corporate debt (including high yield debt and senior loans), control investing, convertible securities, real estate and listed equities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has over 900 employees and offices in 18 cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at www.oaktreecapital.com.
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified (“non-GMO”) and specialty foods. SunOpta specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models. SunOpta’s organic and non-GMO food operations revolve around value-added grain, seed, fruit and vegetable based product offerings, supported by a global sourcing and supply infrastructure.
Sard Verbinnen & Co. for Oaktree Capital
Alyssa Linn, 310-201-2040
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