Under the agreement, Oaktree invested $85 million in SunOpta in the form of exchangeable preferred shares. Proceeds from the investment have been used to reduce the company’s second lien debt and to increase financial flexibility. Kirkland & Ellis advised Oaktree.
Oaktree is an experienced investor in the consumer and retail industry, with a track record of driving growth in complex consumer businesses, including AdvancePierre Foods, Campofrío Food Group and Diamond Foods. In reaching this agreement with Oaktree, SunOpta concluded the previously announced review of strategic alternatives for the company.
“After concluding a comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives, we are excited to have a partner in Oaktree that truly appreciates SunOpta’s unique position in the market and the potential value that can be created for all our shareholders through performance improvement and accelerated growth,” said Alan Murray, chairman of the board of SunOpta.
Oaktree is a global investment manager specializing in alternative investments, with $98 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2016.