Canadian speciality foods company SunOpta has sold its organic soy and corn business to Pipeline Foods for C$66.5m ($50.3m).

Both companies have entered into a multi-year supply agreement for certain ingredients used in SunOpta’s consumer products business.

SunOpta senior vice-president of Raw Material Sourcing and Supply John Ruelle said: “Our speciality and organic soy and corn business has a long history of supplying high-quality speciality, non-GMO and organic ingredients to the food industry.

“I want to thank all of our employees who are transitioning to Pipeline Foods for their hard work and dedication. Each employee has had a meaningful impact and contributed to the Company’s Value Creation Plan during their time at SunOpta.

“We believe Pipeline Foods is well positioned in this space, which should serve the industry well and be positive for our transitioning employees.”

“We are merging the newest team in the sustainable agriculture supply chain business with the most tenured and respected team in the business.”

The business formed part of SunOpta’s North America-based raw material sourcing and supply segment. It includes facilities in Iowa and Minnesota.

SunOpta’s sunflower and roasting operations, as well as its European international sourcing and supply platform Trading Organic, were not part of the sale.

Pipeline Foods CEO Eric Jackson said: “We are excited by this incredible opportunity to grow our business and expand the accessibility of organic and speciality grains in the US.

“With this move, we are merging the newest team in the sustainable agriculture supply chain business with the most tenured and respected team in the business, and creating something even better.”

For this transaction, Raymond James & Associates is serving as financial adviser and Faegre Baker Daniels as legal adviser to SunOpta.

Crowe is serving as accounting and tax adviser, and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr as legal advisor to Pipeline Foods.

In October 2017, SunOpta announced plans to discontinue its nutrition bar product lines and operations in Carson City, Nevada, US.

The decision to exit nutrition bar operations is reported to be part of the company’s ongoing portfolio optimisation strategy and value creation plan.