Richardson buying bigger margarine market share


Prairie grain and agrifood firm Richardson International is going long on shortening with a deal for major Canadian margarine firm Golden Gate.

Privately-held, Winnipeg-based Richardson is no stranger to the margarine business as the owner of the Canola Harvest brand, having bought Canbra Foods in 1999 and Innovative Foods in 2011.

Owned and operated by the Lafortune family, Golden Gate — fully known as Margarine Golden Gate-Michca Inc. — was formed in 1984 from the merger of Oakville’s Golden Gate Margarine and Gatineau, Que.-based Alimentation Michca.

The company, which bills itself as one of the largest margarine manufacturers in Canada, makes canola- and soy-based margarines for the consumer market under the Mirage and Crystal brands.

The company also produces Mirage, Crystal and Golden Gate brand margarines, shortenings, laminating fats and butter/margarine blends for foodservice and industrial end users.

Golden Gate’s processing assets include a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, built at Oakville, Ont. in 2003. Richardson has operated a margarine plant in Ontario since it bought Innovative, which has plants at Mississauga and at Sussex, N.B.

Richardson announced the deal Wednesday but wouldn’t release any financial terms, other than a scheduled closing date of Monday (June 15).

The Golden Gate and Innovative facilities together “will strengthen our capability as a national supplier and increase our capacity to serve all segments of the market, including retail, food service and industrial,” Pat Van Osch, Richardson’s senior vice-president for quality assurance and manufacturing, said in the grain firm’s release.

Golden Gate, which also exports to the U.S., “is a terrific addition to our business as it allows us to better serve our customers in Eastern Canada,” Richardson CEO Curt Vossen said in the same release. –– Network


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