02/21/2017 11:49 EST | Updated 02/22/2018 00:12 EST

Maple Leaf Foods to buy meatless foods producer for US$140 million

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI) has announced it will acquire an American company that makes plant-based protein foods for US$140 million and any related costs.

Maple Leaf says it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Lightlife Foods Inc., which makes vegetarian deli meats, chicken, beef, sausages and other meatless foods.

President and CEO Michael McCain said in a statement that consumers are looking for alternative protein sources and this growing market is one of Maple Leaf's strategic growth platforms.

Lightlife's management will continue to run the Turners Falls, Mass.-headquartered company, which will operate as a subsidiary of Maple Leaf.

The deal is subject to a U.S. regulatory review and is expected to close in March.