Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Canada, signed a definitive agreement to acquire VIAU Foods, a Canada-based producer of premium Italian cooked, dry-cured and charcuterie meats, for $215 million.

"VIAU brings a portfolio of leading brands, a reputation for innovation and quality, skilled management and people and excellent manufacturing assets," says Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. "This acquisition expands Maple Leaf's position in the growing market for premium dry cured and pepperoni meat products and provides further production capacity in Quebec, an important strategic base to grow both Canadian and U.S. sales. It also enables VIAU to expand its portfolio to include raised without antibiotic products, leveraging Maple Leaf's leadership in this growing market."

"It is with great pride that we join the Maple Leaf family," says Pat De Marco, president and COO of VIAU. "Our quality and food safety culture fits perfectly with Maple Leaf, the company that, for years, we have regarded as the Canadian industry leader. The resources that Maple Leaf brings will allow us to more quickly grow our business, provide additional product offerings to our customers, make further inroads into the U.S. market and provide more opportunities to our people. We are truly excited about the future possibilities."

VIAU produces a range of value-added prepared meat products, including Italian cooked meats, sausages, pizza toppings, shaved steak and meatballs and cooked and dry-cured pepperoni. It also produces a range of gourmet deli and premium charcuterie products, including salametti, capicollo, pancetta and sliced chorizo.