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Thursday February 27th, 2014

Posted at 9:06am

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Heinz has found a solution to keep its plant in Leamington open.

Canadian company Highbury Canco Corporation has signed a letter of intent to acquire the facility.

“Heinz is pleased to announce that we have signed a letter of intent with Highbury Canco Corporation, a Canadian company, to acquire the Heinz Leamington facility and for Highbury Canco Corporation to act as a co-packer for Heinz,” says Michael Mullen, Senior Vice President of Corporate & Government Affairs at Heinz.

“The signing of this letter of intent is great news for Heinz and for Leamington, Ontario and is subject to the successful completion of the full transaction. A testament to the hard-working town of Leamington, Heinz received many expressions of interest in the facility, and we are pleased we were able to identify a strong new partner for the community and for Heinz.”

Highbury Canco says their investment means they will continue to manufacture certain Heinz products in Leamington and will provide distribution and logistics services to Heinz in Canada.

“The Leamington Plant has an excellent workforce and Ontario’s farmers are amongst the best in the world.” says Pradeep Sood, representing the Principals of Highbury Canco Corporation. “We believe that our investment will be the cornerstone to providing Ontario’s agricultural products around the world, not just in Canada.”

“Today’s announcement is good news for the families, farmers and local businesses in Essex County. It is further indication that our region is a preferred destination for agri-food opportunities an investments.” says Teresa Piruzza MPP for Windsor West.

Heinz originally made the “difficult but necessary decision” in November to close the plant and reduce the size of their North American factory-based employee numbers which would they said equated to 740 jobs in Leamington.

Sood said in an email interview that Highbury Canco intends to work with UFCW Local 459. “HCC intends to employ approximately 250 employees which is little over 1/3 the current number.”

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