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One Earth Farms makes two more acquisitions

One Earth Farms (OEF), an agri-food enterprise backed by Canadian private equity investors Sprott Resource Corp and CAPE Fund LP, has made more acquisitions in the past few months.

The company, which in 2013 bought Beretta Farms, a natural and organic meat products business, and Sweetpea Baby Food, a provider of organic baby foods, notes two additional purchases on its website.

OEF reports that in 2014 it bought Canadian Premium Meats, an advanced meat processing facility located in Lacombe, Alberta. It also picked up Heritage Angus, a worldwide beef supplier with offices in Hudsons Hope, British Columbia and Camrose, Alberta.

The deals are in line with OEF’s goal of becoming a fully integrated “farm to fork” business. Since the Beretta acquisition, it has moved away from crop farming and has instead applied more focus to its cattle assets and a diverse portfolio of brands that promote “healthy food alternatives” for consumers. OEF also relocated its headquarters from Saskatoon to Toronto.

In its second quarter 2014 financial report, Sprott Resource said the company’s exit from crop operations and related asset sales are expected to be “substantially complete” by the end of this year. The same report said OEF is seeking to grow revenue and margins through existing programs in grocery retailers, the launch of new products, and an increase in the number of retail outlets that carry its products.

Sprott Resource also indicated the restructuring strategy may be bearing fruit. In an August letter to shareholders, the firm’s president and CEO Steve Yuzpe said OEF in the second quarter showed net income and positive earnings per share “for the first time” in its history.

OEF was founded in March 2009 with the backing of Sprott Resource and CAPE Fund.

Sprott Resource, a publicly-traded resource PE firm, is the company’s majority shareholder, with a 54 percent ownership share as of March 31 2014. The firm says it has invested a total of $57.5 million in OEF.

CAPE Fund, a $50 million vehicle launched in 2009 by the family of former Prime Minister Paul Martin and other backers, invests in aboriginal enterprises and entrepreneurs. The fund was interested in OEF because of its business partnerships with First Nations in Western Canada.

OEF is led by CEO Mike Beretta, a co-founder of Beretta Farms. He joined the company at the time of the 2013 acquisition.

OEF was not available for comment on this story prior to publication.

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