Diversified foods giantPremium Brands Holdings Corporation, Vancouver, B.C., said it agreed to buy  Canada Bread Company Limited'spre-packaged sandwich operations and related direct-to-store delivery (DSD) networks. Officials expected to close the deal on Feb. 18, 2011, pending regulatory approvals.

"This transaction provides us with the manufacturing and distribution infrastructure needed to accelerate our growth into eastern Canada and moves us closer to our goal of building North America's leading pre-packaged sandwich manufacturing platform," said George Paleologou, Premium Brands president and CEO. "Furthermore, it strengthens our competitive position across Canada by (1) expanding our family of specialty brands; (2) providing us with a proprietary DSD network in eastern Canada that complements our DSD network in western Canada; and (3) positioning us to provide national sandwich programs to both convenience store and grocery retailers."

Premium Brands said the acquired business will operate under the nameLes Aliments Deli Chef. It has two sandwich manufacturing facilities: one in Gatineau, Quebec and the other in Toronto, Ontario; as well as a central distribution facility in Laval, Quebec; a 14 truck convenience store DSD network in southern Ontario and a 44-truck convenience store DSD network in Quebec.

"We are very pleased to be welcoming the Les Aliments Deli Chef employees to our organization," said Paleologou. "Given the similarity of our values I am very confident that the transition of the business from Canada Bread to Premium Brands will be seamless . . . Our objective is for Les Aliments Deli Chef to be generating annual sales and EBITDA of $50 million and $5 million, respectively, within the next five years."

Premium Brands owns a broad range of specialty food, meat processing and differentiated food distribution businesses with operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Washington State and Nevada. The company services more than 25,000 customers and its family of brands and businesses include Grimm's, Harvest, McSweeney's, Bread Garden Express, Hygaard, Hempler's, Quality Fast Foods, Gloria's Best of Fresh, Harlan Fairbanks, Creekside Bakehouse, Centennial Foodservice, B&C Foods, Duso's Fine Foods, Maximum Seafood, SK Food Group, Hub City Fisheries, Audrey's, Deli Chef and Hamish & Enzo.